Participants in 2019 EDI cohort

Partnerships Hold Immense Power in Redeveloping Cities

By Ian Wiesner, Director, Business Development

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have been bringing investment to Detroit for more than two decades. The mission-driven approach and unique tools that CDFIs bring to the market have played a critical role in the development of new housing and community facilities like grocery stores and schools in the city.

Summer 2019: 2018 Annual Report | Woodward Corridor Investment Fund | Equitable Development Initiative | Meet Our Team


A recent study identified that Washington, D.C. experienced the most intense gentrification in the country from 2000-2013. That impacts all aspects of life for District residents, forcing individuals and families already experiencing economic hardship to make difficult decisions. Capital Impact Partners continues to foster innovative strategies and partnerships to expand access to long-denied resources and break down systemic barriers so that community members in our own backyard can determine success for themselves.

Our 2018 Annual Report: Amplifying Assets

Looking back at our journey through 2018, both as an organization and as a country, it is no surprise to us that Merriam-Webster’s “word of the year” was justice. The meaning and implications of justice were central to important conversations taking place in communities across the United States.

While we are pleased to see attention brought to this critical topic, justice – or the lack thereof – is an issue that we have wrestled with for decades. That is why justice – racial, social, economic – is core to our own mission and is a critical conversation that we seek to drive every day through our work.

In our 2018 Annual Report, read our stories  – like that of Juan Reid of D.C.’s Tightshift Laboring Cooperative – and watch new videos featuring individuals and families who have been empowered to succeed through our work in partnership with communities and organizations. Also, see highlights of our continued impact as we seek equity, justice, and opportunity for all.

►Learn More about Our 2018 Impact

►Read Our Leadership Letter

Preserving and Creating Affordable Housing for District Residents

Across Washington, D.C., the cost of housing is rising beyond the reach of many District residents. That puts them at risk of losing their homes, where some have lived for years, even generations. To address the significant need for affordable housing in the D.C. area, Capital Impact took on the role of fund manager for the city’s Affordable Housing Preservation Fund (AHPF), which is preserving affordable housing across the city, supporting residents to remain in their communities.

Ridgecrest Village, our first loan under AHPF, is a great example of how the Fund is preserving housing and opportunity for District residents. Located in Ward 8’s Congress Heights neighborhood, Ridgecrest Village is a community of 272 apartment units that house approximately 900 city residents. About 10 percent of residents within the complex have lived there since the 1970s. When the complex owner decided to sell, tenants of Ridgecrest Village were able to use D.C.’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act to select a developer to buy the property through AHPF, preserving the affordability and making way for tenant-designed improvements. Now this community can control its future and financial stability, and can take advantage of an increasing amount of amenities across the city.

Empowering Entrepreneurs and Communities of Color in Washington, D.C.​

Equitable Development Initiative – D.C.

In March, Capital Impact held a conversation about ways to increase opportunities for minority real estate developers in Washington, D.C. to participate in the region’s booming development landscape. Development around the Washington Metropolitan area is booming, yet with so much opportunity, the pool of real estate developers still does not reflect the region’s diversity. To increase those opportunities, we are launching our Equitable Development Initiative in the Washington Metropolitan area. EDI targets flexible capital and capacity building tools to minority developers to reduce barriers to entry and strengthen their business enterprises while promoting equitable community development, particularly affordable housing for communities of color.

We are accepting applications for the Equitable Development Initiative now through July 31st.

For more information about EDI, e-mail us at

►Apply Now for the Equitable Development Initiative

►Learn More about EDI

Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

In February, we joined JPMorgan Chase to announce the expansion of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in the Washington, D.C. area. The Fund will support local minority entrepreneurs from northern Virginia to Baltimore to drive business growth through access to capital and technical assistance and aims to:

  • preserve and grow minority-owned businesses in commercial corridors;
  • cultivate a new generation of minority housing developers (EDI); and
  • streamline anchor institution procurement.

With Capital Impact working as fund manager, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) will provide low-cost capital with business advisory services, including networking support and business coaching to minority small business owners in the region. Additionally, the Harbor Bank of Maryland will lead efforts to provide low-cost loans and business support to minority businesses in Baltimore and Prince George’s County, MD.

JPMorgan Chase is seeding the loan fund with a commitment of $3.65 million, alongside a $2 million commitment from Capital Impact Partners and a $1 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, for a total of $6.65 million. This effort builds on existing Entrepreneurs of Color Funds in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and the South Bronx.

►Read Our EOCF Fact Sheet

►Learn More about the EOCF Initiative

Expanding Equity through Inclusive Food Systems

Food access is a basis necessity for creating vibrant, healthy communities. However, many communities, particularly communities of color, have unequal access to healthy food. In December 2018, we held a convening to explore how local food systems can be better financially supported in Washington, D.C. Community members, government officials, and representatives from community-based organizations engaged in a lively discussion envisioning how food systems can foster economic opportunity, better health outcomes, racial equity, and self-determination for District communities.

Alongside capital and technical assistance, the group identified the need to include communities at the beginning of community development strategy, and in fact, allow communities to set these strategies, as they have the best knowledge of community needs and viable solutions. Many communities have been working to address the need for healthier food and increased employment opportunities, and that insight can be integral in creating lasting transformation with support from Community Development Financial Institutions and others. Capital Impact has held follow-on meetings to drill down on more concrete steps that Capital Impact and others can take to foster an inclusive food system in the District.

Check back soon for our convening report!

►More about Our Inclusive Food Systems Convening

Where You Can Meet Our Team

Meet the Capital Impact team at upcoming events across the Mid-Atlantic! We will be attending and presenting at several conferences and events, including the following:



An older woman and man sit outside on the patio

Affordable Housing Integrated with Social Services Creates a Lifeline for Older Adults to Age in Community

By Candace Robinson, Director, Strategy for Aging in Community, Capital Impact Partners, and Amy Herr, Director, Health Policy, West Health Policy Center

This blog originally appeared as a Fast Fact on the Build Healthy Places blog. Read the original blog here.


On average, only 35 affordable rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households (households that earn 30 percent of the median income). Twenty-six percent of extremely low-income renters are seniors.

Man overlooking Detroit

Woodward Corridor Investment Fund: Fostering Sustainable Community Development in Detroit

By Elizabeth Luther, Detroit Program Manager

Between 2000 and 2013, Detroit lost one-quarter of its population—more than 244,000 residents. When the city filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, the exodus continued, with residents leaving the city in record numbers. Vacant homes and shuttered businesses meant that those who remained had little support and far fewer employment prospects to keep themselves and their communities going.

Ellis Carr, President and CEO, and Dan Varner, Board Chair

Amplifying Assets to Achieve Justice for Our Communities

By Ellis Carr, President and CEO, and Dan Varner, Board Chair

Looking back at our journey through 2018, both as an organization and as a country, it is no surprise to us that Merriam-Webster’s “word of the year” was justice. The meaning and implications of justice were central to important conversations taking place in communities across the United States.

Capital Impact Board Member Alaina Beverly

Fostering Communities of Opportunity: Getting to Know Alaina Beverly, Capital Impact Board Member

Alaina Beverly has spent her career championing and empowering underserved communities and working with stakeholders to work toward justice and opportunity for all. She started her career as a litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later worked in the Obama Administration supporting civic engagement in communities. Her expertise as a lawyer and civic organizer for communities of color nationwide aligns strongly with our work, which is why we are honored to have her as a board member.

Janet Webster, owner of Source Booksellers, laughs with a girl

Stay Midtown: Expanding Affordable Housing while Reducing Displacement of Detroit Residents

By Ashlee Cunningham, Detroit Housing & Community Development Specialist

Long before Midtown Detroit—or Cass Corridor, as 39-year-old Wayne State University graduate and artist Rachel Barker prefers to call it—was booming with aesthetically pleasing coffee shops, hip art galleries and expensive retail stores, it was the neighborhood where Barker found the first apartment that she called home. 

The staff of Sustainable Economies Law Center

Innovation in Practice: How Capital Impact Transforms Values into Equitable, Inclusive Communities

By Lauren Counts, Senior Director, Strategy, Innovation, and Impact Management

Innovation is an important tool for mission-driven organizations as they work within their communities to address issues of social, racial, and economic justice. Traditional thinking will not solve the problems that communities across the country experience today, such as racial bias, financial instability, and wealth stripping. However, at times there can be a disconnect between innovations that organizations believe will be impactful and actual community needs.

A man walks through a neighborhood

Leaving Communities Behind: Examining Financial Vulnerability for Black Families

By Olivia Rebanal, Director, Inclusive Food Systems

Despite positive headlines about the American economy, financial vulnerability is a reality for many people. This was brought into sharp focus during the government shutdown Communities rallied around their members and organizations provided support, but it became clear that many individuals and families, even those with stable, full-time employment, found themselves one crisis away from financial instability.

Doctor examines female patient.

How the Civil Rights Movement Gave Rise to Community Health Centers

By Michelle Betton, Writer

With thousands in communities across the country, community health centers (CHCs) seem like a long-standing part of the national health care system. However, the origins of CHCs are relatively recent, born out of civil rights struggles that started 10,000 miles away. They owe their start to Dr. Jack Geiger, who applied an idea that he had seen used to address the stark health care disparities in apartheid South Africa to the structural racism that African Americans experienced in accessing quality health care.


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