Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking (CDB) had a record-setting year in 2017, providing $4.53 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions. It deployed $3.04 billion in debt commitments and $1.49 billion in new equity investments to help build strong and healthy communities by financing affordable housing, charter schools, health care and economic development across the United States.
As the need for affordable housing and services continues to grow, CDB remains focused on safe housing options, sustainability and an emphasis on employment opportunities to achieve the best results for the community.
Much of this effort is driven by creating affordable housing for individuals, families, seniors, students, veterans, the formerly homeless, those with special needs and other at-risk groups. In 2017, the developments CDB financed produced more than 13,500 housing units, of which, 12,000 were affordable, including:
“Making a significant impact in the community is an important consideration in the projects we finance,” said Maria Barry, Community Development Banking national executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “In addition, we invest in programs and services that assist residents, contributing to the long-term sustainability of a community. We’ve seen the significant benefits they achieve, including increased high school graduation rates, employment and quality of health, which help build strong and healthy communities.”
Some high-impact projects that closed in 2017 include:
From 2005 to 2016, the bank financed approximately 210,000 housing units, and of those, nearly 175,000 units were for affordable housing.
In 2017, CDB reached a significant milestone – it exceeded $1 billion in charter school financing since 2000. This financing impacted more than 80 schools and provided educational opportunities for more than 25,000 students. CDB broadened its commitment to charter schools by establishing a groundbreaking Facilities Investment Fund (FIF), offering a $66 million line of credit. The FIF will enable high-quality public charter schools to secure below-market-rate financing to build and/or rehabilitate schools, which will increase access to quality education in the communities we serve.
As part of Bank of America’s commitment to advance economic and social progress for low- and moderate-income communities, the company provided more than $270 million in capital to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in 2017, including $64 million for CDFIs supporting affordable housing.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provided $40 million in grants to more than 1,000 organizations – including Habitat for Humanity, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mercy Housing, and Enterprise Community Partners – that connect individuals and families to affordable housing and advance economic development. These investments are part of the foundation’s focus on increasing economic mobility by addressing workforce development and education, basic needs, and community revitalization. In addition, Bank of America employees volunteered for nearly 150,000 hours last year to support local community development organizations across the country.
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Anu Ahluwalia, Bank of America