MacArthur Awards for Creative & Effective Institutions

Chicago Community Loan Fund

Chicago, Illinois | 2009 Award Recipient

Providing capital to revitalize communities

The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), founded in 1991, provides low-cost, flexible financing for nonprofit and for-profit community development organizations.

Working with small and mid-sized groups, CCLF fills an important niche. It provides loan capital to ventures too small for most banks, allowing small and entrepreneurial groups to take risks and try new directions.

The Fund has loaned $36 million to real estate projects in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods including affordable housing, economic and commercial development, and social service facilities. By providing critical capital to its borrowers, it has helped those organizations leverage $808 million in outside capital from private and public sources, and created or retained over 1,000 jobs and 5,200 homes. A testimony to its underwriting skill and close, supportive relationship with its clients, CCLF’s cumulative losses amount to less than one percent of the total dollars lent.

CCLF’s recent expansion includes the creation of a revolving loan pool to help developers preserve up to 2,200 units of affordable rental housing. This effort is part of the MacArthur-supported Preservation Compact, which has a goal to save 75,000 affordable rental homes in Cook County by 2020.

CCLF aims to increase lending volume and significantly accelerate the rate of business development, social service provision, and job growth over four years. It will focus on the Englewood, North Lawndale, and Woodlawn communities on the South and West Sides of Chicago and in parts of two high-poverty suburban corridors.

The Chicago Community Loan Fund will use its $500,000 award to enhance its current lending in low-income communities and encourage the incorporation of sustainable building technologies into community development strategies and projects.


Grantee Profile: Learn more about Chicago Community Loan Fund

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