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Lenders Coalition for Community Health Centers

11/4/2013

“Lenders Coalition for Community Health Centers” Formed to Press for Policies that Accelerate Health Center Expansion

Capital for Expansion Critical to Meet Growing Need for Primary Care

(October 15, 2013 – Philadelphia, PA) Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that finance community health initiatives have established the Lenders Coalition for Community Health Centers (LCCHC) to press for policies that will strengthen health centers’ access to capital and CDFIs’ ability to finance community health center growth. The LCCHC was launched at the annual Opportunity Finance Network conference in Philadelphia.

“CDFIs play a critical role in helping community health centers obtain affordable capital to strengthen their capacity and expand their facilities. But CDFIs need greater resources and policies to finance rapid growth of community health centers,“ said Allison Coleman, Chair of the LCCHC Steering Committee and CEO of Capital Link. “The LCCHC will educate policymakers about issues that impact health center growth, financial stability and access to capital, and advocate for policies and resources that enhance CDFIs’ ability to foster community health center expansion.”

Community health centers, which provide comprehensive, quality primary care to more than 22 million mostly low-income Americans, will need to expand significantly to meet what is expected to be skyrocketing demand from millions of newly insured people under the Affordable Care Act. About 60 million people lack access to primary care across the U.S.

“Community Health Centers play a central role in ensuring that Americans have access to high quality health care services, but they need much more capacity to reach those who still lack access to basic primary and preventive health care.” said Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Research for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), an LCCHC advisory member. “CDFIs are a vital source of capital and expertise that have powered many health center expansions, and we are thrilled that the LCCHC will be pressing for policies that will bring more capital into the sector, and joining in efforts that strengthen health centers everywhere.”

Health center expansion requires extensive capital investment, yet public capital grant funding is scarce and loans from traditional lenders are out of reach for most health centers. CDFIs – mission-driven lenders with strong ties to low-income communities – are playing an increasingly important role in financing health center expansion, but access to capital remains a key challenge.

“For the past 30 years, CDFIs have successfully financed projects that improve access to essential services for low-income, low-wealth, and disadvantaged people and communities,” said Mark Pinsky, President and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). As the leading network of CDFIs, OFN is delighted to be a part of the LCCHC, a group that will advance policies enhancing CDFIs’ ability to finance community health centers, which are critical to improving the health and stability of distressed areas across the U.S.”

The 17 CDFIs that form the LCCHC are all currently undertaking health center lending. They have made loans totaling more than $1.4 billion to develop primary care capacity that gives more than 3 million patients access to primary care every year.

The Coalition launched on October 15th at the OFN Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The following CDFIs are members: Boston Community Capital, Calvert Foundation, Capital Link, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc., IFF, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), Mercy Loan Fund, NCB Capital Impact, Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), Partners for the Common Good, Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), and the Virginia Community Capital. Advisory members: The Kresge Foundation, Housing Partnership Network (HPN), the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), and PolicyLink.

For more information contact:  Dan Lowenstein  (212) 437-3939 or  dlowenstein@pcdc.org

 

About Virginia Community Capital:
With offices in Christiansburg, Richmond, and Springfield, Virginia Community Capital (VCC) is dedicated to the prospect of building wealth for all through our lending, deposits, and advisory services. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), our mission is to offer innovative, flexible financial products designed to support housing and community development ventures, increase jobs, and encourage sustainable communities. In partnership with our for-profit bank, Community Capital Bank of Virginia (CCB), the non-profit VCC offers loan capital broader and more flexible than bank lending in low-to-moderate income communities in underserved geographies and markets. Learn more at  vacommunitycapital.org.