Current Borrowers:BTQ Financial, Inc.
provides outsourced financial services to non-profit organizations and is majority owned by three leading non-profits committed to servicing the AIDS community: Housing Works
, Harlem United
, and Hudson Planning Group
. With rapidly growing revenues and more than 60 employees, this vibrant business delivers significant efficiencies to the non-profit community. Contact Fund’s loan to BTQ partially funds an aggressive capital spending program focused on improving scalability by creating remote functionality for clients, codifying client procedures and developing staff training. Contact Fund provided a business line of credit at better terms than conventional lenders, who penalized BTQ for its ownership structure. This loan helped to leverage a loan 5 times the from a private philanthropic foundation. Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC)
is a community-based non-profit founded in 1978. Its formation was sparked by neighborhood demolition to make way for a school that was never constructed. To combat neighborhood blight, FAC was initiated by area residents "to act as conveners and advocates, organizers and sources of technical assistance, and packagers and developers."
With over 100 board, staff, and community members participating in carrying out its plans FAC’s reach in the community is wide. Among workforce development and job placement services, adult education, and advocacy work, FAC has a large housing development arm, developing and maintaining affordable housing for low and moderate-income families in neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Prospect Heights, Gowanus and Carroll Gardens.
Contact Fund’s $600,000 line of credit targets three different development projects in FAC’s pipeline. The first, Gowanus Green, is a large, sustainable, affordable mixed-use development in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, using Contact Fund’s line of credit for critical pre-development costs. The second, Red Hook Homes, a mixed-income cooperative, will be using the funds for the marketing and sales of below market-rate apartments. The third project, Atlantic Terrace, has a significant retail component. FAC used Contact Fund loan proceeds to finance the landlord improvements negotiated in connection with its lease to a national retail tenant.Community Homes Housing Development Fund
(CHHDFC) is a nonprofit organization, and affiliate of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), created in 2000 to increase and improve New York City’s housing stock while promoting and advancing homeownership for minority, immigrant, low- and moderate-income and underserved populations.
In 2010, Community Homes HDFC began a pilot REO program in which it has targeted neighborhoods in Queens which have been most impacted by the foreclosure crisis including Corona, East Elmhurst, Hillcrest, Jamaica and South Ozone Park. Contact Fund's $500,000 loan will provide flexible capital to purchase and rehab foreclosed homes in Round 2 of their REO program.
The New York City Montessori Charter School
(NYCMCS) was authorized by the New York State Education Department in December 2010, and opened its doors on September 6, 2011. It’s located in District 7 in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx at 416 Willis Avenue, but will be expanding to a larger building in September 2012 a few blocks away. The school’s curriculum is based on an alignment of the Montessori approach with the National and New York State Core Curricula and it is the first charter school in New York City to have this Montessori curriculum alignment. The school will attend to children K-5 when it reaches full capacity of 300 students in 5 years. The school day is almost 20% longer than traditional public schools, from 7:45 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., in order to provide students with additional time-on-task and longer sustained work periods.
In March 2012, Contact Fund closed a 3-year, $150,000 working capital loan to help with a down-payment for a new expanded school space and other working capital needs as the school expands enrollment.Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corporation
(BSRC) is a non-profit NYC Affordable Housing Developer located in the South Bronx with a staff of 45 and an annual budget of $9.8M in 2010. Bronx Shepherds represents 42 member churches, of which 95% are minority congregations. In operation since 1979, BRSC provides a number of services that contribute to the restoration of the South Bronx. These services include rehabilitation of existing housing units, participation in the New York State Weatherization Program, management of organization-owned housing units, and construction of new housing developments under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. BSRC currently manages 500 units in 21 buildings, with a portfolio occupancy rate of 95%.
In April 2012, Contact Fund closed a $400,000 pre-development loan to BSRC for Redemption Plaza. Redemption Plaza will be located on a plot already owned by BSRC at 1665 Jerome Avenue in the South Bronx. The development will be comprised of 71 units of affordable housing, 10,000 square feet of space for an expanded BSRC training facility, and 6,000 square feet of retail dedicated to a fresh food business. The residential units are intended for children aging out of foster care who will Section 8 assistance, as well as low-income elderly individuals living with their grandchildren. The proposed building incorporates an array of sustainable and energy efficient design elements.
Local developers and merchants founded Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC) in 1983, after a period of rapid neighborhood
change. Their mission is to revitalize the Cypress Hills community through
housing preservation, economic development and the positive development of
youth and families. They serve 8,000 residents a year from 15 sites. CHLDC
develops affordable housing and helps owners and renters retrofit and repair
their existing housing; educates and counsels first time homebuyers and organizes
tenant associations; assists parents and teens to organize to improve local
public schools; and offers recreational, vocational and educational opportunities
for youth, adult education, family and college counseling. CHLDC’s subsidiary, the Cypress Hills
Childcare Corporation, runs a family day care network, an In-Home Head Start
and Day Care Center which they built in 2000. To date, CHLDC has developed 355 affordable housing units, nine
commercial units, a child care center and a new public school building.
Contact Fund’s $500,000 loan to CHLDC is for predevelopment
expenses associated with the development of 60 units of affordable housing in
the Pitkin-Berriman Housing Development, located at 250 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn - a site CHLDC acquired in 2011. The proposed 68,725 square foot housing
development will have 5 studios, 20 one-bedroom, 25 2-bedroom and ten 3-
bedroom apartments, with 12,064 square foot of commercial space on the ground
floor targeted to become a grocery store with a hydroponic roof garden to
supply fresh produce. The targeted AMI of residents will be 60% and below.
Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) was founded
in 1967 as a development organization in the Jamaica, Queens neighborhood. It
is a community–building organization that plans, promotes, coordinates and
advances responsible development to revitalize Jamaica and strengthen the
region. The organization’s work expands economic opportunity and improves
quality of life for the ethnically and economically diverse residents of
Jamaica and for the region, through
rational, well-planned and sustainable metropolitan growth. GJDC’s
contributions to building a sustainable and prosperous downtown Jamaica
include adaptive re-use, business development and business and industrial retention.
Contact Fund’s loan is for construction costs associated
with renovating a leasehold space for a tenant, the Federal Department of
Probation, with a five-year lease. This
loan will be fully amortized over the life of the lease.
Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) is a previous borrower to Contact Fund that recently received another loan for a new development. Contact Fund’s current loan is for pre-development costs
associated with the development of WHEDco’s Bronx Commons development in the
Melrose Commons neighborhood of the Bronx.
The proposed 361,600 square foot
mixed-use project will include 293
mixed-income rental apartments for persons between 50% and 80% of Area Median
Income. Approximately 75% of the units will be 2-bedrooms or more. The project
also consists of a grade 6-12 public charter school in partnership with Bard
College, the Bronx Music Heritage Center, retail space, open green space and a
rooftop hydroponic green house.
mission is to help people acquire the life-changing skills and attitude
needed to overcome challenging circumstances, find sustained
employment, and become valuable contributors to their families, their
employers, and their communities. STRIVE serves the hardest-to-employ,
often individuals leaving the criminal justice system, and over one
third between the ages of 18-24. STRIVE’s training program addresses a
broad spectrum range of personal attributes, including job skills,
interpersonal skills and life planning skills.
founding in East Harlem, STRIVE expanded aggressively during the 1990’s,
opening affiliates in over a dozen North American cities and four other
countries. The economic downturn and the complex operating model
destabilized the organization. During 2013 STRIVE board members
approached SeaChange Capital Partners to discuss an organizational
renaissance, a portion of which relied on a new management team and
re-gaining access to credit, having defaulted on prior bank loans.
Contact Fund extended revolving credit terms that enabled the
organization to bridge typical seasonal cash flows associated with
fee-for-service contracts, while upholding a level of fiscal discipline
that will be necessary for STRIVE to “graduate” from Contact Fund to
traditional bank lending products.
Hale House Center, Inc.
was established in 1969 by Mother Clara Hale to serve children and
families in need. Its Harlem-based programs offer a safe, nurturing
environment and an opportunity for a better future through
individualized support and educational services. Current initiatives
include a state-of-the-art learning center for children ages six weeks
to five years and a supportive transitional housing program for single
In July 2014, Contact Fund closed a $500,000
working capital line of credit, which pairs Contact Fund capital with
strategic repositioning guidance from SeaChange Capital Partners.
Healing Arts Initiative (HAI) is an arts and education nonprofit headquartered in Long Island City, Queens. HAI is a city-wide organization whose mission is to “eliminate barriers to art for New Yorkers shut out of the cultural mainstream”. HAI brings visual arts, music, dance and movement, photography, and media arts into schools, hospitals, prisons and other health and social service settings. HAI also brings low-income and disabled persons out of isolated or monotonous institutions to experience the arts in mainstream cultural venues and local community centers using its fleet of specially adapted buses and trained drivers. Healing Arts reaches over 350,000 people annually with a budget of $5.8m and a staff of 23.
Contact Fund $65,000 loan investment helps support HAI’s Tickets to Go program, an exclusive vendor relationship with the New York City Department of Education (DoE) through which NYC public schools purchase discounted/group rate tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, AMC movie theaters, and other live performances city-wide.
Previous Borrowers:The Lantern Group, Inc
. is a
not-for-profit organization established in 1997 to participate in the
activities that strengthen New York communities by, in part, increasing
the supply of permanent affordable housing. Since 1997, Lantern Group
has developed more than 1,400 rental units in the Bronx, Brooklyn and
Manhattan. Lantern Group, as developer and sponsor, aims to incorporate
environmentally innovative tenant-focused construction and design
elements to all its developments. Lantern Group also provides
complementary on-site services for tenants through its social service
affiliate, Lantern Community Services. Services include, but are not
limited to, case management, individual and group counseling and
Contact Fund's loan to Lantern Group is
for pre-development costs related to Prospero Hall located at 110 East
118th Street. Prospero Hall consists of 86-units of supportive,
permanent housing for homeless veterans and low-income single adults
residing in East Harlem. 60% of the units are set aside for Department
of Homeless Services-referred homeless veterans with special needs. 40%
of the units are set aside for low-income residents earning up to 60%
of AMI HUD income limits.
The Disability Opportunity Fund
is a community development finance institution (CDFI) launched in April
2007, located in Albertson, NY and operating nationally. Their mission
is to serve people with disabilities and their families to be able to
obtain affordable, accessible and supportive housing through a seamless
and rewarding process. DOF provides loans to nonprofit organizations
that serve the disabilities market and serves as a communications
conduit for banks, insurance companies, CDFIs and service providers who
wish to do more to support the disabilities market but lack the
knowledge to do so.
Contact Fund's loan of $100,000 provides
gap financing to one of DOF's borrowers, Imagine Academy. Imagine
Academy was established in 2005 as a school for autistic children in
Brooklyn with an initial enrollment of 12 students. As the Academy's
waiting list expanded, the school decided to look for a larger and more
permanent home. In 2009, Imagine Academy purchased a property at 1458
East 14th Street in Midwood, Brooklyn, with the goal of expanding their
enrollment to 34 students. Local Initiative Support Campaign (LISC)
is one of the nation’s largest community development organizations.
Contact Fund has partnered with LISC to provide pre-development
financing to two smaller community development organizations: Mutual
Housing Association of New York and Allen-AME
These groups have used Contact Fund's investment to begin
rehabilitation of abandoned one-to-four family homes in East New York
and South Jamaica, Queens, that will become available for purchase by
middle-income New Yorkers.
In 2006, Contact Fund’s loan to LISC
provided pre-development financing for the Mutual Housing Association of
New York’s rehabilitation of homes in East New York. In 2007, those
same funds were refinanced by construction financing, enabling LISC to
re-deploy Contact Fund’s pre-development capital to a new, multi-family
project in Central Harlem being developed by Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement
.Women's Housing & Economic Development Corp. (WHEDCO)
delivers a wide range of services to families in the South Bronx,
including Headstart, job training, housing placement, and the
development of affordable green housing. Since rehabilitating the
134-unit Morrisania Hospital in the mid-1990s, WHEDCO has taken on its
most ambitious project: Intervale Green
a 128-unit green, affordable development in the Bronx that includes
services for young people aging out of the foster care system.
approached Contact Fund for short-term credit to finance unforeseen,
delays in construction on its second major development. After site
visits, interviews and reference checks, Contact Fund extended a line of
credit in 2007. Later that same year, WHEDCO won a $6.5mm contract from
New York State to provide administration for informal childcare
providers who serve welfare mothers re-entering the labor force. WHEDCO
sought additional credit and Contact Fund structured a second line of
credit.AAFE-Community Development Fund (AAFE-CDF)
, a subsidiary of Asian Americans for Equality, provides technical assistance and financing for first-time home-buyers in Chinatown and Flushing, Queens. In September, as a federally approved Community Development Financial Institution, AAFE-CDF qualified for and won
a $385,520 federal grant to expand its activities. In the current mortgage environment, AAFE-CDF's hands-on homeownership technical assistance will be critical, especially in Queens, where foreclosures have increased over 100%.
Contact Fund’s $50,000 loan allowed AAFE-CDF to expand its homeownership lending activities. Furthermore, the loan was guaranteed by Renaissance Economic Development Corporation
, a large, highly-capitalized subsidiary of AAFE. As of 12/31/08, AFFEE-CDF has fully repaid its loan to Contact Fund.Acción-New York
is the United States' largest micro-lender, serving entrepreneurs throughout New York City with an emphasis on immigrants. They have placed more than $58 million with 8,700 New Yorkers. In January 2007, Acción-NY earned the right to market and manage a new $5.5 million micro-lending fund designated for Upper Manhattan and funded by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone
and a consortium of banks. Contact Fund is one of nearly 12 lenders that have assisted Acción-NY in growing its assets at a rate of over 20% in recent years. This borrower has repaid its loan in full.Green City Force
(GCF) recruits, trains, and employs low-income young adults (ages 18-24) to work in jobs related to energy efficiency. The organization was started in 2009 with philanthropic support from the Blue Ridge Foundation and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, under the leadership of Lisbeth Shepherd. Shepherd implemented a similar youth civic employment strategy in France from 2000 to 2006, co-founding the organization Unis-Cite. She is a former Echoing Green fellow.
Semi-annually, GCF recruits a class of young people known as a “corps,” for a six-month period during which they receive training for the CUNY placement exam. 70% of graduates go on to enroll in college or gain employment. AmeriCorps reimburses GCF for the wages of its participants after they complete 900 hours of service.
As GCF grew its operations, it sought working capital to provide liquidity during corps recruitment, to be repaid by the Federal Americorps program. The working capital loan from Contact Fund helped Green City Force fund its operating shortfall as the first cohort began training in February 2013 and as it built out its permanent office space – a critical time in the evolution of any nonprofit.Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union (LESPFCU)
is a federally regulated credit union for low-income residents that
provides careful yet caring home financing and community development
financing. Working with technical assistance provider NEDAP
the credit union has begun prudent loan modification lending, enabling
distressed homeowners to stay in their homes. Contact Fund's loan enabled LESPFCU to expand this and other important community programs.
Since 1997, Project Enterprise (PE)
has offered hands-on technical assistance and micro-loans in Harlem,
Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The organization nurtures a network of support
and feedback among entrepreneurs. In contrast to Acción-New York,
Project Enterprise makes fewer loans that are typically smaller. Project
Enterprise’s average loan is $2,270, while Acción-NY’s is $7,748.
Enterprise’s small-loan program is designed to finance home-based
entrepreneurs, rather than traditional businesses such as restaurants.
Contact Fund’s loan enabled Project Enterprise to expand this loan
program and replace much more expensive market-rate financing. The
speed, simplicity and low cost of the transaction had a significant
impact on Project Enterprise’s finances. In 2007, PE met requirements
and exercised its option to double its Contact Fund loan.Project Renewal, Inc.
(PRI) operates facilities in New York City that offer a variety of
services in accessible settings to homeless and formerly homeless people
suffering from mental illness, alcoholism, and substance abuse. The
organization was founded in 1967 as the Manhattan Bowery Corporation and
changed its name in 1994 to Project Renewal, Inc.Since 1989, PRI has
developed 1,218 units of transitional and permanent supportive housing
for homeless and formerly homeless and mentally ill New Yorkers. They
currently manage 700 shelter beds in four city-owned buildings. They
have a total annual budget of $44, 465, 065 and have 607 FTE employees.
part of an open-ended RFP process and in anticipation of a growing
number of post-recession homeless in New York City, the New York City
Department of Homeless Services (DHS) reached out to request a proposal
submission for a new shelter. PRI chose to develop their own building
as a way to maintain control over the quality of the property and to
reinvest any revenue back into the shelter as opposed to paying rent to a
likely for-profit property-owner. PRI went through an extensive
site-selection process and chose 4380 Bronx Boulevard in the North
In May 2012, Contact Fund closed a $400,000 construction
loan to Bronx Blvd HDFC, providing critical gap financing capital
subordinate to Chase Bank's senior construction loan of $10.2mm.
Established in 2011, Spaceworks
is a nonprofit cultural community development organization dedicated to
expanding the supply of long-term, affordable rehearsal and studio
space for artists in New York City. Spaceworks provides artists with the
workspace that they need to make their practice possible. This
strengthens the cultural landscape of the city, making it a more
affordable place for artists to work and live.
with the Brooklyn Public Library and Contact Fund, Spaceworks is
creating three visual art studios at the Williamsburgh Library, located
at 240 Division Avenue in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s most exciting
creative communities. Contact Fund’s $300,000 loan will help Spaceworks
renovate the second floor of the library, which will feature
approximately 4,000 square feet of multi-arts work space including
visual artist studios and rehearsal rooms, which can be rented hourly.
The space is slated to open in early 2015.Cooper Square Committee
(CSC) focuses on the preservation and development of affordable housing
in New York City. Since the early 1970’s, the organization has
sponsored the renovation and development of nearly 550 affordable
housing units. With its experience in assembling development teams for
affordable housing projects, the organization has the capacity to serve
as project sponsor for the renovation of 222 East 13th Street. Steven M.
Herrick, the Executive Director of CSC, has been with the organization
since 1998. In 2007, CSC partnered with Community Access to develop a 53
unit apartment building at 29 East 2nd Street with social services for
In partnership with Ali Forney Center, Cooper Square
Committee is developing the property at 222 E13th St, to become a
homeless shelter for LGBT youth. Ali Forney operates transitional
housing resources for homeless LGBTQ youth in several boroughs and has
identified the East Village as a frequent destination for youth in need
of housing assistance. Contact Fund increased and extended its loan to
Cooper Square in November 2013; the initial loan proceeds were spent
advancing the project through the schematic design phase, and the new
funds were requested to fully develop construction documents. The
project is supported by the New York City Council and the New York City
Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s Supportive
Housing Loan Program.