The first national loan fund dedicated to supportive housing has been launched with an investment in a 44-unit development for veterans at risk of homelessness in Gary, Ind.

The new $45 million Supportive Housing Solutions Fund will provide acquisition, predevelopment, and construction funding for projects that include supportive housing targeted to very low income tenants.

Launched by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), the fund began with an initial investment from the group's 2012 Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance. CSH then brought in financing from two philanthropic partners, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and four private-sector investors, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank, and Morgan Stanley.

The fund has kicked off with a $414,000 predevelopment loan to Broadway Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) to build the Homes for Heroes project in Gary. The group plans to convert an abandoned building and vacant lot into housing for vets.

“This is a much needed project in our area, and we would not be able to move forward without this lending opportunity,” said Vernita Leslie, executive director of Broadway Area CDC, in a statement. “We are thrilled to be the first borrower of the Supportive Housing Solutions Fund and are very appreciative of CSH.”

For 20 years, CSH has led the supportive housing movement. In general, supportive housing combines affordable housing with key services to help stabilize people who are at risk of being homeless. Read how states are pushing supportive housing in their low-income housing tax credits programs here.

Although CSH has provided loans for a long time, the new fund is the first to have a true national scope.

“We are thrilled to see this fund come to fruition with an investment in Homes for Heroes,” said CSH President and CEO Deborah De Santis. “CSH has long understood the importance of supportive housing as a solution for combating society’s toughest challenges and we are excited to have the support of philanthropy and the financial sector as we look to bring supportive housing to more communities across the country.”

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