Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton is turning to a community development financing strategy he says could lead to additional investment. The city is launching a "CDFI Friendly City" pilot program designed to attract and provide incentives for community development financial institutions from outside of Monroe County. Hamilton is requesting $2 million in public funding to bring in CDFI financing, which he hopes will "leverage at least $4 million from outside private investors."
The city says CDFIs provide capital and services to low-income, low-wealth and other disadvantaged populations and areas and more than 1,000 of the financial intermediaries currently operate in the United States. The CDFI Friendly City strategy, the city says, is a new way smaller markets that are less able to support a stand-alone CDFI are attempting to benefit from the financial source.
Hamilton says "smaller markets like ours usually don’t have access to CDFIs, so we’ve had to be creative. This innovative CDFI Friendly City approach we are launching today is informed by decades of experience in larger cities but is uniquely designed to support small urban and rural communities. I will ask the city’s Redevelopment Commission to earmark $1.5 million for affordable housing support – including workforce housing and ownership and rental – that will be available to leverage CDFIs willing to invest in our community. And I will ask BUEA to earmark up to $500,000 to join with CDFIs willing to support local and nontraditional small business growth in our community."
You can connect to more about the city’s strategy by clicking here.