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August 18, 2009

Contenders for 2009 Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance Are Announced
    by Robert Kropp

Presented by the Opportunity Finance Network, the awards will provide $8.25 million in financing to leading Community Development Financial Institutions.

SocialFunds.com -- Since 2007, the Wachovia NEXT Awards have provided Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) with financial awards that combine unrestricted grant dollars with unsecured below-market loans. Presented by the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a network of 170 financial intermediaries that have originated more than $19.8 billion in financing in non-conforming urban, rural, and Native communities through 2007, the awards are funded through OFN by the Wachovia Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The program is scheduled to continue through 2011.

The 2009 award recipients will be announced in October. The two finalists for the award to a CDFI with over $50 million in capital dedicated to lending or investing, which consists of a $5 million below-market loan and a $500,000 unrestricted grant, have been announced.

The New York-based Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), founded in 1991, has provided over $207 million in loans and grants for the creation of supportive housing that have ended homelessness for at least 26,800 adults and children. CSH also provides human services to support its clients.

The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (NHCLF), founded in 1983, has provided loans totaling more than $100 million, and leveraging more than $348 million, to build housing, created jobs, and support such services as child care and community facilities.

Two finalists for the award to a CDFI with $10 million to $50 million in capital dedicated to lending or investing, which consists of a $2.5 million below-market loan and a $250,000 unrestricted grant, were also announced.

Founded in 1980, the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE) is a network of 47 community organizations with $72 million of capital under management, whose goal is to reduce poverty in Central Appalachia by improving the housing conditions of low-income people.

ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia (SBEC), a CDFI serving communities in Oregon and Washington, was founded in 1995. Since then, SBEC has invested $60 million in 400 business, social and civic ventures, and leveraged an additional $255 million in investment by others.

Semi-finalists for the awards, which also include four $25,000 unrestricted grants, are Coastal Enterprises, Community First Fund, and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF).

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