Black and yellow graphic that reads: Success Tips for Charter School Operators: A Thorough Concept

Success Tips for Charter School Operators: A Thorough Concept

Whether you are an experienced charter school operator refining your approach or an enterprising newcomer ready to break ground in the charter school education sector, there is always more to discover and master to advance your institution and widen your impact. This series is crafted to deliver crucial insights and practical advice to drive your charter school projects and overall mission forward.

At the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, which includes Capital Impact Partners, CDC Small Business Finance, Ventures Lending Technologies, and Momentus Securities, we are dedicated to expanding capital and opportunities for underestimated communities, including those innovating in charter school education.

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Success Tips for Real Estate Developers: Relationship Building

Success Tips for Real Estate Developers: Relationship Building

Whether you’re a seasoned real estate developer fine-tuning your strategies or an aspiring newcomer eager to make your mark in the industry, there is always more to know and learn to help grow your business and scale your impact. This series is designed to provide invaluable insights and actionable advice to propel your development projects and your business forward.

At the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, we harness the collective expertise of Capital Impact Partners, CDC Small Business Finance, Ventures Lending Technologies, and Momentus Securities to expand capital and opportunities for underestimated communities.

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Community Development Lending Explained: Construction Loans.

Community Development Lending, Explained: Construction Loans

In this series about community development lending, we aim to shed light on the diverse types of loans we offer, in the hope that it will provide the clarity our borrowers need to make an informed decision about applying for a community development loan.

In this third installment, we turn our attention to construction loans, the financial cornerstone that transforms plans into reality and buildings into vibrant community assets.

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Community Development Lending Explained: Real Estate Acquisition Loans

Community Development Lending, Explained: Real Estate Acquisition Loans

In this series about community development lending, we aim to shed light on the diverse types of loans we offer, in the hope that it will provide the clarity our borrowers need to make an informed decision about applying for a community development loan. 

In this second installment, we explain what real estate acquisition loans are, and how developers and community leaders can utilize them to bring their community-centered projects to life. 

What is a Real Estate Acquisition Loan?

A real estate acquisition loan is a type of loan that is used to purchase real estate. This type of loan is often used by community developers to acquire existing property or development land that they plan to preserve or redevelop for affordable housing, commercial development, or other community-benefit purposes.

How are Real Estate Acquisition Loans Used in Community Development?

Real estate acquisition loans can be used to purchase a variety of properties, including:

  • Vacant land for the development of new affordable housing, commercial space, or other community facilities
  • Existing buildings that will be renovated or converted into community facilities
  • Distressed properties that need to be rehabilitated or redeveloped to revitalize a neighborhood or community

Vacant land for the development of new affordable housing, commercial space, or other community facilities

Capital Impact Partners has closed on a real estate acquisition loan to Medici Road to purchase a vacant plot in Washington D.C.’s Ward 7. Medici Road plans to develop the land into a 17,000-square-feet building with 12 condo units for sale at prices affordable to D.C. residents earning 80 percent of the Area Median Income – a path to intergenerational wealth building, and a way for long-time residents to stay local in a gentrifying neighborhood.

Existing buildings that will be renovated or converted into community facilities

The Betty M. Condra School for Education Innovation in Lubbock, Texas, was acquired with a real estate acquisition loan issued by Capital Impact Partners. The acquisition of this two-story building increases the school’s capacity by 70 percent.

Distressed properties that need to be rehabilitated or redeveloped to revitalize a neighborhood or community

An illustrative example is that of Skyland Apartments in  Washington, D.C. ‘s Ward 8, which was acquired by Enterprise Community Development (ECD), a leading nonprofit affordable housing development firm in the Mid-Atlantic region. With an acquisition loan issued by Capital Impact Partners, ECD’s development of Skyland Apartments preserves 224 affordable residential units and eight commercial units. The residential units are occupied by families earning at or below 60 percent of the local Area Median Income.

Access to Capital, Flexibility, and Partnership Building

Real estate acquisition loans can provide a number of benefits for community development projects. They can provide community developers with the financial resources they need to purchase land or properties  that they might not be able to afford otherwise. The flexibility of being able to purchase any property allows community developers to tailor their projects to the specific needs of the communities they serve. 

Real estate acquisition loans can also help community developers to build partnerships with other organizations, such as lenders, investors, and government agencies. These partnerships can provide additional resources and support for community development projects.

Check out our mission-driven lending page for more information about our products to find out which might work best for you.

An Asian American and a Black woman working in the kitchen and smiling at the camera

Nourish DC: Grants Help Diverse Food Entrepreneurs Flourish

In 2021, the Nourish DC Collaborative launched. This initiative supports the development of locally owned food businesses in Washington, D.C. communities to create vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.Nourish DC offers flexible loans, grants, and technical assistance to emerging and existing food businesses. While it serves the entire District, the collaborative focuses on supporting businesses in underestimated neighborhoods, which are more often owned or led by people of color.

Learn more about Nourish DC in our series. Read our blog about how technical assistance helps local food businesses create change.

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Community Development Lending, Explained: Predevelopment Loans

Community Development Lending, Explained: Predevelopment Loans

In this series about community development lending, we aim to shed light on the diverse types of loans we offer at Capital Impact Partners, in the hope that it will provide the clarity our borrowers need to make an informed decision about applying for a community development loan. In this first installment, we delve into the essence of predevelopment loans, exploring what they are and how developers and community leaders can utilize them to bring their community-centered projects to life. 

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What is a Predevelopment Loan?

A predevelopment loan serves as a critical lifeline during the earliest stages of a development project.  It specifically targets the upfront costs associated with project planning and preparation, enabling developers to refine their visions and align them with the needs and aspirations of the communities they aim to serve. This loan bridges the gap between concept and execution, ensuring a solid foundation for success.

Exploring Site Selection and Due Diligence

Choosing the right location is paramount in community development projects. Predevelopment loans allow developers to explore potential sites, conduct due diligence, and assess the feasibility of their projects; this phase involves considerable research and assessment. From evaluating zoning regulations and environmental factors to assessing community demographics and market demand, developers can make informed decisions that contribute to the long-term success of their initiatives.

Capital Impact has financed a predevelopment loan to Chestnut Neighborhood Revitalization Corporation (CNRC) to assess the feasibility of constructing The Ivory, a five-story, mixed-used, mixed-income development in the Chestnut neighborhood of Austin, Texas. The Ivory’s construction is expected to preserve the history, legacy, and culture of Chestnut, once a flourishing artistic, cultural, and commercial hub for the African-American community.  

Engaging Stakeholders and Building Partnerships

Predevelopment loans not only provide the financial means for planning but also facilitate collaboration and partnership building. Developers can leverage these loans to engage with stakeholders, including community members, local organizations, and government agencies. Through consultations, workshops, and community meetings, developers can gather valuable input, build consensus, and establish partnerships that enhance the overall project design and increase its positive impact.

An illustrative example is Russell Woods, a 102-unit assisted living senior housing development located in Detroit. Capital Impact has financed a predevelopment loan to Icon Heritage Partners to ensure that collaboration with the City of Detroit was established so that the renovation of the property fit within the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Plan. 

Navigating Regulatory Requirements and Permitting

Complying with regulatory requirements and obtaining necessary permits can be complex and time-consuming. Predevelopment loans enable developers to navigate these processes efficiently by allocating funds for legal and consulting services, permit fees, and other regulatory expenses. This support streamlines the development timeline and minimizes potential obstacles, ensuring smoother project progression.

Mitigating Risks and Demonstrating Viability

Developing a successful community-centered project involves potential risks. Predevelopment loans mitigate these risks by providing financial resources to overcome obstacles encountered during the planning phase. By demonstrating project viability and commitment, developers enhance their credibility when seeking additional financing from lenders or investors for subsequent project stages.

TBV Courtyard, a 12-unit affordable multifamily development in the South Annex neighborhood of Richmond, California, is a great example of how additional project financing comes more easily when project viability is demonstrated. TBV Courtyard represents phase two of a larger development plan to provide a total of 105 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood. Given that phase one’s predevelopment studies proved viable, the process to receive financing for phase two was seamless.

Check out our mission-driven lending page for more information about our products to find out which might work best for you.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our blog series, where we explore real estate acquisition loans, another type of loan that moves community development projects forward.

Ellis Carr and Gary Cunningham discuss the need to disrupt the financial sector to support equity and inclusion at the Momentus Capital All-Staff gathering.

The Need to Disrupt the Financial Sector to Support Equity and Inclusion

In September 2023, the Momentus Capital team gathered in Washington, D.C. for its annual meeting to discuss the organization’s strategy for the coming year. As part of that process, President & CEO Ellis Carr hosted a discussion with Board Chair Gary Cunningham.

In their wide-ranging conversation, they discussed Gary’s long history working on community development issues, the importance of financial inclusion, the need to embed the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into this work, and the unique and innovative solutions that the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations are delivering to disrupt the financial sector.

We invite you to watch their conversation or read the accompanying transcript on the Momentus Capital blog.

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Community Development Lending, Explained

Community Development Lending, Explained

For anyone seeking to access lending for community development projects, understanding the different types of loans can be confusing.

At Capital Impact Partners, our commitment to fostering positive social impact drives us to support mission-aligned real estate developers and community development leaders with a range of flexible and affordable financing solutions.

Our community development lending offerings include predevelopment loans, real estate acquisition loans, construction loans, working capital loans, refinance loans, New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) leverage loans, and NMTC Qualified Low-Income Community Investment (QLICI) loans.

Our loan products are designed to help our borrowers achieve their goals and revitalize disinvested and underestimated communities, whether that constitutes developing or preserving affordable housing, creating jobs through a small business, or building the resilience of communities through access to health care, healthy food, and education.

In this series of blogs, we aim to shed light on the diverse types of loans we offer and explore their significance within the context of Capital Impact’s mission-driven financing, in the hope that it will provide clarity to help borrowers make informed decisions about applying for community development loans.

Black and yellow graphic with the title community development lending, explained

We walk through the different types of loans we use to support developers and community leaders in bringing their community-centered projects to life:

Black and yellow graphic that reads: Community Development Demystified: A Glossary

Community Development, Demystified: A Glossary

As a mission-driven developer, organization, or business looking into community development projects, you may be coming across language that might sound confusing and be challenging to understand. What is a CDFI? What is NMTC? What is LTV?

At the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, we leverage the combined expertise of Capital Impact Partners, CDC Small Business Finance, Ventures Lending Technologies, and Momentus Securities to expand capital and opportunities for underestimated communities.

At Capital Impact Partners specifically, we offer flexible and affordable financing to a broad range of community development projects that deliver social impact, including community health centers, public charter schools, small businesses, cooperatives, healthy food retailers, affordable housing developments, and dignified aging facilities.

This glossary aims to demystify terms to help you navigate through our lending and programmatic services and offerings. Below you will find definitions of terms divided into the following thematic sections:

Yellow and black graphic with the text: Community Development, Demystified: A Glossary

General

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are mission-driven private sector financial institutions that focus on serving people living with low incomes and people who have historically been locked out of the financial system. Their work entails providing lending for small businesses and community projects, affordable housing, and essential community services in the United States.

As a CDFI, Capital Impact Partners has delivered community facility financing, capacity-building programs, and impact investing opportunities to champion key issues of equity and social and economic justice since 1982.

Community Development 

Community development activities tackle underestimated populations that do not have equitable access to affordable housing, health care, healthy food, and education, nor connections to capital, entrepreneurship, and quality jobs, to help them become stronger and more resilient.

At Capital Impact Partners, and together with the Momentus Capital branded family of organizations, we offer a continuum of capital products and services to transform how capital and investments flow into underestimated communities and drive community-led solutions that support economic mobility and wealth creation.

Lending Process

Capital Stack

Debt coverage ratio (DCR) is a measurement of a firm’s available cash flow to pay current debt obligations. While a DCR of 1.25 is the minimum requirement for most lenders, a higher number — such as 2 — shows lenders you are financially stable and can repay your debts. A higher DCR can also mean a potentially lower interest rate as lenders see you as less of a risk for defaulting on your loan.

Loan Term

The term of a loan is the period of time a borrower has to repay the loan. This choice affects their monthly principal and interest payment, their interest rate, and how much interest they will pay over the life of the loan.

Loan-to-Value (LTV)

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a measure comparing the amount of one’s mortgage with the appraised value of the property. The more equity put into a loan transaction, the lower the LTV ratio.

Term Sheet

A term sheet is a nonbinding agreement that shows the basic terms and conditions of an investment. The term sheet serves as a template and basis for more detailed, legally binding documents. Once the parties involved reach an agreement on the details laid out in the term sheet, a binding agreement or contract that conforms to the term sheet details is drawn up.

Underwriting

Underwriting is the process of your lender verifying your income, assets, debt, credit, and property details to issue final approval on your loan application.

Loan Types 

Predevelopment Loan

A predevelopment loan serves as a critical lifeline during the earliest stages of a development project.  It specifically targets the upfront costs associated with project planning and preparation, enabling developers to refine their visions and align them with the needs and aspirations of the communities they aim to serve. This loan bridges the gap between concept and execution, ensuring a solid foundation for success.

Real Estate Acquisition Loan

A real estate acquisition loan is a type of loan that is used to purchase real estate. This type of loan is often used by community developers to acquire existing property or development land that they plan to preserve or redevelop for affordable housing, commercial development, or other community-benefit purposes.

Construction Loan

A construction loan is a short-term loan that propels your development project from the drawing board to a physical structure. It provides the necessary funding to cover the costs associated with building, renovating, or expanding community assets. Construction loans may also cover the costs of buying land, drafting plans, taking out permits and paying for labor and materials. Construction loans typically have higher interest rates than other types of loans because lenders are taking on more risk by financing the construction of a new property.

Business Acquisition Loan

A business acquisition loan is a financial instrument designed to provide funding for individuals or businesses to purchase an existing business. These loans are often sought by entrepreneurs looking to expand their business portfolio, individuals seeking to become business owners, or existing business owners interested in diversifying their operations by acquiring complementary businesses. In the case of community developers, the specific goal would be to further community development initiatives.

Loan Refinancing

A refinance refers to the process of revising and replacing the terms of an existing credit agreement. Borrowers usually choose to refinance a loan seeking to make favorable changes to their interest rate, payment schedules, or other terms outlined in their contract. If approved, the borrower gets a new contract that takes the place of the original agreement.

New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) Qualified Low-Income Community Investment (QLICI) Loan

Community development entities, such as Capital Impact Partners, use New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations to provide subsidized financing for qualifying businesses or real estate projects. Projects must meet the federal definition of a Qualified Active Low-Income Community Business (QALICB) to be eligible for NMTC financing. QALICBs are businesses that are located in, or provide services to communities living with low incomes.

The capital that a community development entity provides to a qualifying project is known as a Qualified Low-Income Community Investment (QLICI) and it is a seven-year, interest-only loan.

Health Care 

Integrated Care

Integrated care is a unique approach to health care that is characterized by close collaboration and communication between multiple doctors and healthcare professionals. In other words, it is a type of healthcare where all of your doctors work together to solve issues with your physical, mental, and behavioral health. At Capital Impact, we support the Integrated Care model because it improves the quality of care, promotes better health and lower costs while creating thousands of jobs, spurring economic development.

PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly)

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides comprehensive medical and social services to certain community-dwelling elderly individuals, most of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Affordable Housing

Area Median Income (AMI)

Area Median Income is the income for the median household in a given region. If you were to line up each household from poorest to wealthiest, the household in the very middle would be considered the median.

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)

TOPA, or “Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act”, is a type of anti-displacement housing policy that gives tenants options to have secure housing when the property they rent goes up for sale, while also preserving affordable housing.

Cooperatives

Food Co-ops

A food co-op is a grocery store that is totally independent and owned by the community members who shop there. An illustrative example is ChiFresh Kitchen, a food co-op owned by justice-involved Chicagoans, primarily Black women. ChiFresh won a Co-op Innovation Award and was not only able to continue its expansion, but also pivot to provide freshly cooked and culturally appropriate foods to those impacted by COVID-19.

Housing Co-ops

A housing co-op provides an alternative to the traditional methods of acquiring a primary residence. It is a type of residential housing option that is actually a corporation whereby the owners do not own their units outright. Instead, each resident is a shareholder in the corporation based in part on the relative size of the unit that they live in. Capital Impact Partners has helped ROC USA, a nonprofit that helps residents form cooperative corporations to purchase their manufactured home communities from private owners and manage their neighborhoods in perpetuity. They have gone on to become a powerhouse in this area, helping thousands of residents become homeowners and community stewards.

Worker Co-ops

Worker cooperatives are values-driven businesses that are owned and operated by their employees. Capital Impact has made a $1 million preferred equity investment in Obran Cooperative, a unique company that operates a number of worker-owned healthcare companies.

Worker Co-op Conversions

Worker co-op conversions – or employee ownership conversions –  occur when businesses transition from a traditional ownership structure to employee ownership. Essentially, the business owner sells the business to the employees. These conversions (PDF) can drive company productivity while rewarding the people who are contributing to the company’s success, as well as helping to preserve the company’s mission and values.

In 2021, Capital Impact Partners financed the worker co-op conversion of Ward Lumber. This new cooperative is another example of the power of worker co-op conversion to maintain and increase wealth and stability within communities.

Photo showing group of food entrepreneurs smiling during a training session

Nourish DC: Technical Assistance Helps Food Entrepreneurs Build Their Business Acumen

A strong local food ecosystem is essential to community health and economic prosperity — and in Washington, D.C., food deserts (areas without full-service grocery stores) in communities living with lower incomes are a significant factor in persistent food insecurity. Building local food businesses in underinvested communities can help support healthier neighborhoods, build economic prosperity, and increase access to high-quality jobs. 

In 2021, Capital Impact Partners and the Government of the District of Columbia – along with a group of partners – launched the Nourish DC Collaborative, an initiative that supports the development of locally owned food businesses in D.C. communities to create vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.

Nourish DC offers flexible loans, grants, and technical assistance to emerging and existing food businesses. While it serves the entire District, the collaborative focuses on supporting businesses in underestimated neighborhoods, which are more often owned or led by people of color.

In this blog series, learn how food business owners are supporting their local communities and how technical assistance offered through Nourish DC helped them create change.