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October 09, 2012

Three Community Development Financial Institutions Receive 2012 NEXT Awards
    by Robert Kropp

Primary Care Development Corporation will receive $4.25 million to expand beyond New York State, while Clearinghouse CDFI and the Corporation for Supportive Housing each receive awards of $2 million.

SocialFunds.com -- Since 2007, the Wells Fargo NEXT Awards have awarded funding to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that provide financial services in underserved low- and middle-income communities. The awards have been funded through commitments by Wells Fargo; this year, the awards were also funded for the first time through a $10 million loan commitment by the Kresge Foundation.

This year's awards were presented recently by Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a national network of more than 180 CDFIs. Three CDFIs were chosen to share an award pool totaling $8.25 million.

The New York City-based Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) will receive $4.25 million to expand its affordable capital and technical assistance to community healthcare organizations beyond New York State to other underserved markets. PCDC projects that its expansion will result in 285 permanent jobs and expand patient capacity by 175,000 visits over three years.

Since 1993, PCDC has created investments totaling $415 million for 100 primary care capital projects in underserved communities throughout New York State. Ronda Kotelchuck, CEO of PCDC, thanked the NEXT Awards "for recognizing the importance of primary care and for supporting our efforts to expand access of high quality, patient-centered primary care to patients and families from underserved communities throughout the United States."

Clearinghouse CDFI, of Lake Forest, CA, will receive a $2 million award to expand into Nevada, where unemployment and single-family foreclosure rates are among the highest in the US. Clearinghouse announced in March the opening of a Nevada office, stating that it will concentrate its lending efforts in the areas of affordable housing, community facilities, faith-based projects, and small businesses.

The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), also based in New York City, will receive $2 million to expand into 10 new markets across the country. CSH plans to add 11,500 new supportive housing units during its expansion.

"We will use the award to expand on our 20 years of success using supportive housing to build strong, healthy communities," Deborah De Santis, President & CEO of CSH, said.

"The new era of the NEXT Awards will benefit low-income individuals and communities by spurring CDFI product and geographic expansion," said Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of OFN. "This year's awardees will not only expand their coverage, but implement innovative partnerships and business models to uncover opportunities to better serve more individuals and communities in all 50 states."

Rip Rapson, president of The Kresge Foundation, added, "The expansion plans of these winning institutions means more communities will have access to their investment capital and business acumen, both of which are critical to bringing about positive, long-term social and economic change."

Awardees will be honored at a celebration on October 16 at OFN’s annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.

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