National Coop Bank highlights $384m support for low-income communities

Support went to credit unions and co-ops active in sectors such as housing, health, food and energy

The National Cooperative Bank (NCB) says it committed US$384m of its overall annual production to initiatives serving low-and moderate-income communities and new co-operative development in 2023.

NCB, which co-ops and socially responsible organisations across the US, detailed the loans and investments in its annual impact report.

The support is set out sector by sector:

  • Housing: $103.7m for affordable housing initiatives and low-and-moderate-income mortgage loans nationwide.
  • Non-profit & Community Development: $16.9m to finance commercial real estate in low-income areas and organizations focused on economic development.
  • Credit Unions: $93.6m to low-income or community development credit unions.
  • Food: $24.6m to expand access to healthy food in low-and moderate-income communities.
  • Hardware: $9.1m to support hardware retailers nationwide.
  • Health Care: $31.7m to support healthcare and aging services.
  • Renewable Energy: $89.8m to finance solar panel installation in low-and moderate-income communities.
  • Small Business: $7.0m to support small businesses.

In addition, NCB provided $7.2m in contributions, investments, and grants to support entities serving low-income communities and co-op development.

Projects supported include Lovettsville Cooperative Market, a member-owned food co-op in Virginia which received a $950,000 Small Business Administration loan. The co-ops, which has over 1,200 owners, opened in November 2023 and has pledged to buy from local farmers as much as possible, implement environmental best practices, work to build an inclusive community and share information about the link between food and health.

NCB also provided a $2.5m subordinated debt loan to Encurage Financial Network Credit Union
(EFNCU) in Chicago, Illinois. Serving over 13,500 members in the low-income Chicagoland area credit union will use the loan to enhance the website, mobile app, and online member enrolment platform, and invest in a new suite of business products to expand the credit union membership.

A $9.34m non-revolving line of credit will partially fund the acquisition and construction of a new Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) facility in San Bernardino, California, with WelbeHealth San Bernardino PACE as the tenant. WelbeHealth is a physician-led, mission-driven, for-profit company founded in 2015 to serve vulnerable seniors with quality healthcare
through the operation of PACE facilities.

And Fox Ridge Cooperative Townhouse in Topeka, Kansas, has been granted a $4.1m first mortgage to
refinance existing debt and provide funds for capital repairs. Fox Ridge is a 200-unit limited equity, affordable housing co-operative with 44 two-storey buildings and a one-storey clubhouse.

NCB has also committed up to $46m for the installation of up to 50 solar projects totalling
25.1 MWdc in Maryland. Working with Solar Landscape, each project is a rooftop solar
project mounted on public storage facilities and will serve nearly 2,600 homes, many of
them low-moderate income families, making it the largest portfolio of projects from a
single company in the Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program’s LMI subcategory. These
projects will save Maryland residents nearly $1,000,000 per year on their energy bills, says the Bank.