U.S. Bank and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) partnered on the issuance of an innovative bond designed for targeted and measurable racial equity results. The bond was issued by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Enterprise’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and the $30 million bond will help to provide loans to Black, Brown, Indigenous and people of color housing developers under Enterprise’s Equitable Path Forward initiative. The bond is the first CDFI-issued racial equity bond and provides for targeted investments in underserved communities of color.
Rolling out spoke with Lori Chatman, president of Enterprise Community Loan Fund, and Marcus Martin, Managing Director and head of Environmental Social and Governance for Fixed Income and Capital Markets business at U.S. Bank, to find out more about the bond.
Tell us what the racial equity bond is and briefly discuss the Equitable Path Forward initiative.
Lori Chatman: At the end of last year, Enterprise announced a $3.5 billion initiative focused on investing in developers of color working in their communities. Our goal with Equitable Path Forward is to begin to close the capital gap that has historically precluded developers of color from actively taking a role in how their communities are being redeveloped and invested in. The initiative is led by a $350 million Growth Fund, through which we are investing in mission-aligned for-profit real estate developers and community based non-profit real estate developers that are led by people of color. These organizations need capital that is patient and predictable, with terms that allow them to make investments to grow and scale their businesses. Partnering with U.S. Bank to issue the first racial equity bond from a CDFI allows us to target this capital where it is most needed.
In addition to the Growth Fund, we’re also providing advisory services and support as developers grow their operations. Enterprise is uniquely qualified to do that because Enterprise itself also owns and develops real estate, and our large portfolio informs how we can support other organizations as they seek to grow both their activities and also their revenue base to create economic mobility.
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