One of New York’s biggest real estate lenders has $20 million to give away to minority developers.
The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) just announced that its new Acquiring Capital and Capacity for Economic Stability and Sustainability (ACCESS) initiative will provide flexible capital to create opportunities for people of color in real estate development and prioritize investment in communities of color.
“As a nonprofit whose mission it is to invest in housing to strengthen underserved communities, we’ve been having honest and difficult discussions about what else CPC can and should be doing to strengthen and support the minority developers and real estate entrepreneurs who work, live, and build in those communities,” said Rafael E. Cestero, President and CEO of CPC.
“ACCESS was created with the explicit goal of empowering Black and minority entrepreneurs by providing funding, education and other resources to build their capacity to compete in the development industry, while targeting projects that bring high quality housing to communities of color.”
The $20 million will be allocated to address barriers to entry disproportionately experienced by people of color.
Not only will it be used to fund loans for acquisitions, predevelopment and construction, the money will also be used to provide borrower training and financial literacy programs to help first time entrepreneurs navigate the development process;
Lawrence Hammond, currently vice president in CPC’s New York City Originations office, has been named Senior Vice President, Director of ACCESS and will lead a full-time team dedicated to rolling out and operating ACCESS.
“ACCESS will provide financial resources and capacity building opportunities to real estate entrepreneurs of color historically challenged in the real estate marketplace, with the goal of promoting and enabling greater racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry,” said Hammond.
“I am excited to lead this initiative at this particular time in our nation’s history and at an organization where meeting the capital needs of underserved communities is at the core of its mission. When our industry reflects the diversity of our neighborhoods, we will all be stronger for it.”
CPC was founded in New York City in 1974 to be a source of stable capital and a resource to underserved communities impacted by blight and abandonment during a time when other institutions either couldn’t or wouldn’t invest in them.
A significant amount of this work has been in black and brown communities that have long suffered from institutional racism and neglect.
ACCESS was born out of the conversations within the company, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Black Lives Matter and social justice movements, about what CPC can and should be doing beyond its traditional lending work to create more equity and opportunity in the communities it serves.
As a nonprofit lender and one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation dedicated to financing multifamily housing, CPC has lent over $11 billion to finance more than 200,000 units of multifamily housing since its founding.
In New York, CPC and partners are responsible for funding a number of projects, including the Mount Hope Renaissance in the Bronx and; the Park and Elton Apartments redevelopment in Morrisania