Bank of America Community Development Banking, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, is investing $30 million in loans and $30 million in equity financing to increase access to capital and career opportunities for BIPOC leaders developing multifamily, affordable, and supportive housing across the country.
The investment will support Enterprise’s Equitable Path Forward, a five-year initiative to help facilitate racial equality in housing.
Bank of America Community Development Banking says it is the first bank to launch a fund with dedicated financing and support to BIPOC developers.
The effort is in addition to Bank of America’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity in Black, Hispanic-Latino, and Asian communities with a focus on affordable housing, health and health care, jobs/reskilling, and small business.
As part of the recently announced partnership, the bank will use its $30 million equity investment to team with Enterprise to establish a special low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) fund.
“We thought it was important to partner with Enterprise in the LIHTC space to create this proprietary fund, with a focus on helping BIPOC developers gain more access in a more equitable fashion to opportunities in the affordable housing real estate development,” says Maurice Coleman, LIHTC syndicator relationship management executive. “The focus is on equitable opportunity, access to capital, and creating financial capacity for BIPOC developers.”
In affordable housing, this equity is often the catalyst for deals to get done, says Coleman, adding that the bank will leverage the equity to also provide needed debt products to developers and their projects.
“We are in the process of identifying developers and projects for the fund,” adds Kate Chavez, vice president of Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, noting that the organization has a national network that it can utilize in the effort.
Chavez calls the fund a “natural progression” of the work that Enterprise is doing with its Equitable Path Forward initiative and that Bank of American is doing to advance racial equity and opportunity.
“Our goal with this initiative is to play a key role in helping to drive new pipeline and financial capabilities of BIPOC developers,” says Maria Barry, community development banking national executive at Bank of America.