A report released today by the Greater Ohio Policy Center researches the benefits of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs provide access to credit and specialized loan products for people who may not otherwise qualify for a typical bank loan, supporting the creation of jobs, businesses, and housing units. The report focuses on the 18 CDFI loan funds currently operating in Ohio, and their catalytic initiatives that encourage neighborhood change and economic development.
Key findings from the report include:
All CDFIs operate within an ecosystem of supporting institutions and there is a symbiotic relationship between the vitality of these organizations and opportunities for CDFI lending.
Bank relationships are critical for CDFI work. In many locations in Ohio, particularly in small- and mid-sized cities, these relationships have not reached their full potential.
Although CDFI funding is technically available anywhere in the state, there are some potential gaps where more lending could be taking place.
Between 2005 and 2016, CDFI investment supported the development of 36,304 units of housing, and created or retained 17,240 jobs. CDFIs in Ohio loaned $975,127,903 in Ohio and leveraged $5 for every $1 of CDFI investment, amounting to $4.9 billion in investment over eleven years.
The incredible economic and community benefits of CDFIs in Ohio are outlined in the new report. In addition, GOPC makes recommendations to strengthen the network of CDFIs operating in the state. Community lending and investment are important facets of equitable development, and they encourage holistic economic development to create attractive places to live and work.