Responding to Community Housing Needs

Loan Fund Success Stories

"It was great to talk to people who understand your organization and your needs. We will continue to partner with NCALL for many more efforts."

Delmarva Community Services (DCS) stepped up to the plate six years ago when the local community action agency failed. They applied to the state to take over their services. DCS inherited the building of the previous agency in the process. The building was in bad condition and it was located in an unsafe location. It was also not large enough to house their current services along with the new ones they would take on as the local community action agency.

The organization located another building, purchased it and began renovations in January of 2012. The project kept growing to a point where they needed more capital for the renovations. USDA would have come through eventually with a loan, but the paperwork would have delayed the project. They couldn’t secure a loan from a bank because the governmental loan always takes a first place lien. That is when they turned to the NCALL Loan Fund.

"It was great to talk to people who understand your organization and your needs," said Santo Grande, the organization’s Executive Director.

Fiscal Director Cathy Frey agreed, "We support our mission instead of the bottom line. It was great to work with NCALL because they get that. I have thoroughly enjoyed the relationship." NCALL’s loan kept the construction and renovation moving forward. "The project came to fruition faster and cost us so much less," Cathy said.

The community center was completed in the fall of 2012 after a full renovation of the existing 8,500 square feet and the addition of 5,000 square feet. This extensive facility in Cambridge, Maryland houses a large food pantry, an industrial and therapeutic center for developmentally and physically disabled individuals, a greenhouse, home foreclosure assistance, financial aid for rental assistance, budgeting classes, free income tax preparation and a housing rehabilitation program that aims to preserve local housing to provide a decent living environment for low-and-moderate income individuals and persons with disabilities.

More than 1,000 families are now served monthly out of this newly expanded and renovated building.

Permanent financing was provided by USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.

According to Santo, "We are here to serve the individual. We will continue to partner with NCALL for many more efforts."

NCALL was pleased to follow its mission and strategic plan of deploying loans throughout Delmarva, including the Maryland and Virginia Eastern Shore. The Loan Fund looks forward to assisting Delmarva Community Services in the future.

"NCALL has been tremendous"

According to the 2010 census, 11.3% of Delaware’s population does not have any health insurance coverage. Rural areas often have a higher percentage, sometimes by as much as an additional 12%. People who are medically uninsured or underinsured face a number of obstacles to both their financial and medical well being. This includes higher out-of-pocket costs for care, poorer health outcomes and a greater likelihood that easily treatable ailments will go untreated and become serious medical problems.

In the Spring of 2012, La Red Health Center will open the doors of it’s new 25,000 sq.ft., state-of-the-art medical facility in Georgetown, DE which will help bring about change in Sussex County. The new facility will enable La Red to serve more than their current 6,500 patients per year and provide new and crucial health services to the community.

Currently, La Red operates out of two leased buildings totaling 8,000 sq.ft. At this size, the organization can’t accommodate all of the patients and services that are necessary. The new building will enable La Red to expand their family practice, women’s health and oral health services, add crucial prenatal services, and increase space for behavioral health, preventative education and administration.

According to La Red Chief Medical Officer Dr. Fabricio Alarcon, MD, “The new facility will improve patient flow and it’s a much better environment for our patients. We really believe that this new facility will help to improve the quality of life in Sussex County. Many of our patients would not be able to afford private practice office visits. They would not receive the prenatal care or other services that they need and would end up clogging up the emergency rooms.”

“This building has been a dream of ours since 2009,” explained Kevin Loftus, La Red’s Director of Development and Communications. We tried to get a federal grant to build the center, but it didn’t work out. We weren’t sure what to do next. NCALL was one of our partners in that effort. They contacted us with an idea. If we could raise some of the necessary funding, they would put together a financing package for the remaining amount. That’s what happened. We raised $1.2 million and NCALL’s Loan Fund put together a financing package for $3.5 million.”

The Loan Fund found funding partners for the $3.5 million construction loan in Artisans’ Bank, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Delaware and CDFI Partners for the Common Good. Permanent financing for the center will be with USDA, Rural Development. This will be the third loan that NCALL has done in Georgetown in tandem with RD permanent financing.

La Red has been providing quality health care to Kent and Sussex County residents for more than 10 years. La Red, which is Spanish for ‘The Network,’ was started as a Spanish speaking hotline to assist the Hispanic community in finding health services.

In 2001, they opened a health clinic and now La Red is a federally qualified health care center with three locations in rural Sussex County. Their services are for people of all ages regardless of their ability to pay. Individuals without heath insurance or with higher insurance deductibles may apply for La Red’s Sliding Fee Scale which offers discounted rates for most medical services. Eligibility is based on federal poverty guidelines.

“NCALL has been tremendous,” said Kevin. “They were very supportive in explaining the process and they educated our entire Board on the financing package. NCALL has been an active participant in the project which really helps to make it easy on us.”

"They've gained control over their housing future."

In manufactured home parks, the residents normally pay ground rent to a landlord. Even though they own their home, the residents pay monthly fees that never diminish and the land could be sold out from under their homes at any time. That is the way it’s always been, until now.

In 2008, a new Delaware law gave the residents the right to match any offer the land owner received during a sale. Many partners worked together to make Minquadale Village, located near Wilmington, the first resident owned manufactured home park in the state of Delaware.

This project was initiated by ROC USA, a nonprofit lender that helps resident corporations buy their manufactured home communities nationwide. They heard of Delaware’s new law and wanted to get involved. The deal looked promising, but they needed additional capital to make the project a success. NCALL provided a critical piece of financing to close the gap between the purchase price and what ROC USA, was able to supply.

In July, Ken Shaw, president of Minquadale Village Homeowners Association, signed off on a $2.1 million deal that made the association the legal owner of the community where its members live.

"Closing on this property was a dream come true, not just for me but for all of my neighbors at Minquadale," said Shaw. "We owe a debt of thanks to everyone who has made this possible. We had a great deal of support, and we’re grateful."

With manufactured homes making up about 15% of the housing stock in Delaware, the purchase of Minquadale Village by its residents is significant to more than just the proud new community owners.

"Manufactured housing is the largest block of affordable housing in the state that does not require a government subsidy,” said Ed Speraw, President of the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association. “Annual land rent increases can cause evictions which can create a burden on the State and other providers. Minquadale homes will now remain affordable.”

According to Keith Timko of READS, who provided project technical assistance, "By taking ownership of the property themselves, the Minquadale homeowners not only have guaranteed the future of their community, they've begun to build equity in their property, and they've gained control over their housing future.”

"Working with NCALL was our best option."

According to the State of Delaware, there are 4,000 substandard housing units in Sussex County. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity has been helping to turn the tide by building affordable homes since 1991. They target families with less than 60% of area median income. Each adult in their partner families has to put in 250 hours of their own sweat equity and in return they own a new, affordable home at 0% interest. The organization receives about 70 applications for homes each year. They started out building one home per year, all run by volunteers. In 2004 they hired Kevin Gilmore, Executive Director, as their first paid staff. Now that they have a staff of five and are producing eight homes per year with many volunteers, they needed a suitable office. That is where NCALL’s Loan Fund came in to help.

NCALL provided a two phase loan to assist Sussex County Habitat for Humanity purchase land and build an office so they can have a permanent place to operate their growing organization.

“We are currently using part of our Restore retail space in Georgetown for our office,” says Mr. Gilmore. “Not only is it encroaching on our retail space, the building is 100 years old, and not energy efficient. Today we are wearing our coats to work. Our office is a hub of activity for our volunteers and partner families, as well as our staff.”

“We did not want the fact that we were acquiring an office to take away at all from our mission. If we had to raise the additional funds to build the office up front, that would mean less money would be going to the families we are trying to help. Working with NCALL was our best option. We couldn’t beat the loan terms and the staff was very supportive and understanding of our mission. All of this process was very new to us. The NCALL staff was very knowledgeable and this enabled the process to not distract from building homes.”

Groundbreaking for the new office was held in April 2009 and scheduled to open November 2009.

The photo shown above is the Roblero family on the steps of their new Habitat home in Seaford, DE.

"Our relationship with NCALL is instrumental in that success."

The NCALL Loan Fund is proud to be a part of New Hope Place in Wilmington's Southbridge community. Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware (Interfaith) is the developer of this 15 townhome community in Southbridge, the city's first designated "Hope Zone".

A Hope Zone is a specially designated area of the city that has been targeted for a long-term revitalization plan where social services and other programs would be intensified.

Interfaith contacted NCALL in reference to financing the project as Interfaith and the Fund have enjoyed a solid relationship for several years. This was a great opportunity to foster a substantial community development impact. As both Interfaith and NCALL are NeighborWorks organizations, NHSA-CDFI agreed to be an additional lender in the project.

Also, New Hope Place will be the first LEED-built residential construction project in Delaware. The LEED rating system is a nationally recognized standard for "green" building practices.

Phill Raffan, Housing Development Manager for Interfaith shares, "We are pleased to be a part of the revitalization of the Southbridge community. Our relationship with NCALL is instrumental in that success."