The Philadelphia Urban Finance Corporation (PUFC) closed its doors in 2012 and transferred its assets to Finanta, a community development financial institution (CDFI) based in North Philadelphia.The $550,000 amount will go towards loans for affordable housing developments in the region.
PUFC was in operation for 38 years, and it administered over $50 million in interest-free loans to community development corporations (CDC) involved in low-income housing development.
Finanta was chosen out of several nonprofits who submitted proposals for the funding. “They trusted that we had the capacity to manage the fund,” said Luis Mora, president and founder of Finanta. Two members of PUFC’s board have since joined Finanta’s board to help with the transition.
Mora added that another reason he believes Finanta was chosen is its multifaceted understanding of community investment. Founded in 1996, the CDFI provides business loans, technical assistance, mortgages and loans for affordable housing development.
Finanta also specializes in delivering services to immigrant and minority populations by being conscious of social, cultural and language barriers. Some recent projects include working with a small business entrepreneur to get a mortgage on her first home and providing loans to small businesses in Fishtown and Kensington, such as the popular coffee shop Lola Bean.
The terms of the agreement with PUFC require that the funds must be used for the “purpose of promoting affordable housing to low-to moderate-income individuals in the Delaware Valley.” Specifically, Finanta will provide “pre-development loans.” These include loans for real estate purchases, design and engineering work, and environmental surveys.
Mora explained that Finanta is attempting to double the $550,000 amount by reaching out to the CDFI Fund, a federal economic development organization, to provide a matching grant.
(Photo via Flickr user chrisinphilly5448)-30-
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