Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking (CDB) provided a record $4.7 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions, surpassing last year’s record financing of $4.53 billion. It deployed $3 billion in debt commitments and $1.7 billion in new equity investments to help build strong communities by financing affordable housing, charter schools and economic development across the United States. These efforts are part of the company’s commitment to deploying capital to address global issues outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CDB remains focused on providing innovative financing solutions. Many CDB clients have relied on the bank’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) platform to maximize funding available for new construction and rehabilitation of their developments. In 2018, CDB financed over $150 million in FHA transactions, more than all previous years combined, making it one of the top 10 FHA low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) lenders (for firm commitments issued during 2017 to 2018). This includes Grace West Manor in Newark, N.J., where CDB provided a $64 million in FHA 223(F) loan and a $27.9 million direct equity investment to rehabilitate 429 affordable housing units for families and seniors. The investment also allows enhanced resident services, security and a new community center.
“We remain committed to financing deals that make a lasting impact in the communities we serve,” said Maria Barry, Community Development Banking national executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Bringing the full resources of the bank, Community Development Banking takes a holistic approach to help provide safe affordable housing, educational opportunities and economic development to help support the long-term sustainability of communities across the country.”
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. Some high-impact projects that closed in 2018 include:
From 2005 to 2018, the bank financed approximately 226,000 housing units, of which, about 194,500 units are for affordable housing.
In 2018, the developments CDB financed produced more than 16,000 housing units, of which, over 15,000 were affordable, including:
In January 2019, Bank of America issued its first social bond, becoming the first U.S. bank to issue a social bond. The net proceeds will refinance the company’s investments in affordable housing and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), supporting the company’s efforts to address pressing issues that impact low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in the United States.
As part of Bank of America’s commitment to enabling social progress and economic mobility for low- and moderate-income communities, the company has a $1.5 billion portfolio of loans and investments to 260 CDFIs across the United States, Puerto Rico and District of Columbia, including $79.1 million for CDFIs supporting affordable housing.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also provided $39 million in grants to more than 1,000 organizations – including Enterprise Community Partners, Habitat for Humanity, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Mercy Housing and NeighborWorks America – 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 volunteers gave nearly 150,000 volunteer hours last year to support community development organizations in local communities across the globe.
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 66 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,300 retail financial centers, including approximately 1,800 lending centers, 2,200 Merrill Edge investment centers and 1,500 business centers; approximately 16,300 ATMs; and award-winning digital banking with more than 36 million active users, including over 26 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Anu Ahluwalia, Bank of America