Community Development Banks make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people across the country. CDBA members deliver sustainable impact through innovative financial products and services for low and moderate income communities that are left out of the economic mainstream. Our members are often the only source of credit and financial services in these underserved communities.
Our banks finance a range of borrowers and projects. The credit they mobilize builds housing and supports small businesses, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond their direct customers.
"City National is helping us restructure a mortgage program on a 22,000 square foot school building that was built as a private elementary school. The people at City National have been very professional, very available and very courteous. They probably understood the culture of church and the financial capacity of church better than any of the banks that we talked to in our move towards financing this loan. Bethany Baptist Church is the oldest black Baptist church in Newark. It was founded in 1871 and now has about 1,500 loyal members. We had a couple of other deals percolating, but we were more interested in City National Bank because it is an African-American financial institution, and we want to do our part by working with them.”
Walk in to the new St. Mark Child Development Center and you’re immediately blown away. Colorful classrooms, a beautiful theater, a dedicated staff and a creative curriculum are ingredients of the center that meet the spiritual, social and survival needs of its central city neighborhood.
Every year St. Mark Child Development Center serves approximately 225 low income families through its early childhood education program, a before and after school program, and a summer camp. Nearly 100% of the children are African American, with many living in single-parent households in one of Kansas City’s poorest neighborhoods. Having access to high-quality, convenient child care empowers St. Mark’s parents to find and retain gainful employment. In addition, the Center serves as a neighborhood anchor, providing a safe, warm and attractive site for a variety of community services.
St. Mark Church built the $4.5 million center with funds raised as well as a loan from Central Bank of Kansas City through its Urban Core Improvement Fund (UCIF). The fund uses deposits from foundations, individuals and companies to make loans to the community which includes social service agencies and businesses that are looking to improve our urban core.
Another bank had turned down the church’s loan request as too risky. But Central Bank, long-time corporate citizen of the Historic Northeast, eagerly said yes. Rebuilding distressed areas in the urban core of Kansas City benefits many and has long been the mission of Central Bank of Kansas City who opened its doors in 1950. “Helping people that are doing great things makes sense for our community as well as the city. Sometimes you have to reach out to help worthwhile causes like St. Mark,” said Bill Dana, president and CEO of the bank.
“Central Bank literally came and guided us every step of the way and has been very supportive,” said the Rev. Sam Mann, Executive Director of St. Mark. “It’s a bank that’s very interested in the community where they live. They are a bank that’s truly committed to that area.”
This morning the preschool children gathered together for Village Voice time in the colorful and creative theater. They are led in song and dance by their teachers and peers. Their smiles and actions show that this is a great place to begin your education. Central Bank of Kansas City is very proud of their involvement with St. Mark and will continue to help other worthy causes through their Urban Core Improvement Fund.
Providing affordable housing and most importantly helping low-wealth families become homeowners is Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity’s primary mission.
“This is a very high-cost part of the state. We realized that the traditional Habitat model was not going to work here,” said Executive Director Overton McGehee. “So we’re developing mixed-income communities so that the market-rate and mid-range units will help pay for the affordable units for low-wealth families.”
This Habitat is taking it a step further. They are buying trailer parks threatened by new development. The Charlottesville affiliate is the first Habitat in the country to try such a strategy.
Community Capital Bank of Virginia, also known as Virginia Community Capital, provided a line of credit to help Habitate gain site control and buy a 100- acre Southwood Mobile Home Park in Albemarle County.
“Right now traditional banks are not very interested in making loans secured by undeveloped land,” Overton said. “VCC was willing to do something that other banks were not willing to do.”
Without Habitat, the 361 families currently living in Southwood would be displaced. Instead, these families will continue to live there and receive much higher quality affordable housing. With a projected 600 to 800 units available, many new families will also benefit. The partnership of Greater Charlottesville Habitat for Humanity and Virginia Community Capital gives the Southwood community and Charlottesville hope for a brighter future.
“I hope VCC will help us further on this project over the years and on other projects as well,” Overton said. “I highly recommend them to other non-profits.”
"City National Bank refinanced a loan we had with another bank. Through City National, we were able to cut the interest significantly and with the extra financial resources we could complete the renovation of a five-story townhouse, which used to be a crackhouse. Now we have a hair salon with ten styling chairs, and five spa treatment areas. The top three floors will become one-bedroom apartments in the next few weeks with the help of City National. "We are really happy to be part of the revitalization of this terrific neighborhood. We planted flowers in our front garden, and now our neighbors also plant flowers, so it is really nice to walk around the area in the summer.” - Sharon Ayers - Harlem, NY
Financial literacy programs like Central Bank of Kansas City's Teach Children to Save Program are one of the things that make our member banks so unique and effective in the communities they serve. Central Bank of Kansas City started the program as a co-sponsor of the first annual Money Smart Week, a financial literacy campaign conducted by hundreds of organizations nationwide. Central Bank of Kansas City's Teach Children to Save Program gives kids the information and education they need to make wise financial choices and and save money.