MassHousing and MHIC Announce the Opening of the Equitable Developers Fund

Equitable Developers Fund
The fund will offer developers Working Capital Lines of Credit and Standby Letters of Credit, products designed to break down traditional barriers of entry into the real estate development industry for underrepresented developers.

MassHousing and the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC) announced that funding applications are now open for the Equitable Developers Fund (EDF).

The $50 million Equitable Developers Fund is the largest publicly led financing program of its kind in the country. The EDF will address disparities in capital access in the real estate industry, expanding the capacity and increasing the number and diversity of capable developers working across Massachusetts.

“Opening funding applications for the Equitable Developers Fund represents an exciting milestone in our efforts to create new housing in Massachusetts and expand growth opportunities for underrepresented developers,” said MassHousing CEO Chrystal Kornegay. “The enterprise level growth capital that the Equitable Developers Fund provides will help emerging developers grow to scale, deepening our housing delivery system.”

MassHousing and MHIC announced earlier this year that the two organizations entered into a partnership to launch and administer the EDF. The partnership between MassHousing, a state housing finance agency with more than $29 billion in total lending activity, and MHIC, a private, nonprofit housing and community development lender, combines MassHousing’s substantial reach with MHIC’s deep experience raising and deploying capital, as both a lender and an investor. The EDF represents MassHousing’s largest partnership with a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

“With an overwhelming shortfall of affordable homes in the Commonwealth, we need more developers putting shovels in the ground,” said Moddie Turay, MHIC’s President and CEO. “We also need to help ensure that socially and economically disadvantaged developers can participate in solving our region’s affordable housing crisis. The Equitable Developers Fund directly and impactfully addresses this challenge.”

The EDF seeks to support emerging developer enterprises that:

· Are previous and/or current long-term (5 or more consecutive years) residents in one of the Commonwealth’s 26 Gateway Cities, Boston, Framingham, or Randolph or a HUD Qualified Census Tract in any other Massachusetts municipality, or can provide documentation addressing social disadvantages such as, economic insecurity, barriers to educational access, disability, membership in a group historically subject to social prejudice or social bias, or previous and/or long-term residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society.

· Have some previous experience developing rental, homeownership, or mixed-use developments.

· Intend to pursue rental, homeownership, or mixed-use development within one of the geographies listed above.

· Meet all EDF program guidelines for eligibility and underwriting.

· May need technical assistance to better navigate the real estate development permitting process to grow their business.

The EDF’s programs will provide technical assistance to identified developers as it relates to understanding the state’s affordable housing development opportunities and financing sources.

In addition to the enterprise level capital made available through the EDF, MHIC plans to make at least $10 million in project-level predevelopment, acquisition, and construction financing available to developers. MHIC and MassHousing also intend to expand the reach of the EDF by raising an additional $25 million from private investors.