This weekend marks a significant milestone for Centrant Community Capital: 30 years of lending to finance affordable multifamily housing.
On December 13th, 1990, Paul H. Stock, former Executive Vice President & Counsel for the North Carolina Alliance of Community Financial Institutions (now known as the North Carolina Bankers Association) signed the Articles of Incorporation of Community Investment Corporation of North Carolina – or “CICNC” for short.
At the time, the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program had been in existence for just a few years. Developers and lenders alike were still figuring out how to utilize this new incentive to create affordable housing. CICNC was a rather novel creation, founded as a membership-based lending consortium to leverage the resources of North Carolina’s banks to finance affordable housing across the Tarheel State.
Our method? We solicited pooled funding commitments from member banks, provided on a voluntary loan-by-loan basis, in order to provide critically-important permanent mortgage financing. This allowed individual banks to be a part of these important projects, without being the sole lender or taking on the added risk associated with long-term, fixed rate debt. And in return for their funding commitments, banks were able to receive important regulatory consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act.
By providing a reliable source of capital, and a responsive approval process, we quickly became a preferred lender for affordable housing developers across the state.
A Proven Model Expands its Reach
Over the years, we followed our developer and bank relationships into new states – first to Virginia and South Carolina, resulting in a 2007 name change to “Community Investment Corporation of the Carolinas.” After expanding into Tennessee, Georgia and Texas, it became evident that we needed a new brand that reflected the reach of our impact well beyond the Carolinas. So in 2018, we re-introduced ourselves to the affordable housing industry as Centrant Community Capital.
We will achieve several other remarkable milestones this year. We are in the final pre-closing due diligence stage for our first loan closing in Texas. By year end, our total closings will surpass $375 million. In total, we’ve now provided funding commitments to create or preserve nearly 24,000 units at 433 apartment properties in six states.
And absolutely none of it could have happened without the trust and partnership of our banks, and the strong relationships we’ve built within the development community.
As we wrap up our first 30 years of lending, we are already looking ahead to the next three decades and beyond. In the coming year, we will be exploring ways to expand our loan products to meet the needs of our developers, our member banks and the individuals and communities we all serve together.
Even as we continue to grow, our commitment to offering a safe, reliable and mission-driven loan product remains the same. This will always be our approach. It has served us and our customers well for many years, and will continue to do just that for many years to come.
We are so grateful for your support!
David R. Bennett, Executive Vice President