Centrant Welcomes Newest Member:
Benchmark Bank (Plano, TX)

Centrant Community Capital, a consortium of banks offering loans to finance affordable multifamily housing, recently announced that Benchmark Bank has joined as its newest member. Headquartered in Plano, TX, the $620 million community bank is the fifth Texas-based financial institution to partner with Centrant. Benchmark Bank, which is family-owned and operated, has been serving Texans since 1964.

Centrant, which was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA) in 1990, provides long-term mortgage financing for affordable multifamily housing developments. Although originally created to serve the North Carolina market, the organization has grown over its twenty-nine year history to serve six Southeastern states from Virginia to Texas. Since its inception, Centrant has provided $420 million in permanent debt financing, helping to create or preserve 23,000 affordable apartment units in over 400 properties.

“We are delighted to welcome Benchmark Bank into our consortium,” said David Bennett, Centrant’s executive vice president. “The voluntary support provided by our member banks, and the impact of their financial commitments upon the communities they serve, cannot be overstated.”

With a membership of nearly 100 member banks, Centrant is one of the largest affordable housing loan consortia of its kind in the nation. Centrant has a unique business model that leverages the resources of its members to promote affordable housing lending in a “shared-risk” manner. By providing pooled funding for Centrant’s loans, its member banks, which range in size from the smallest savings banks to some of the largest banks in the nation, are able receive the benefits of additional income and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit, while simultaneously benefiting the community development needs of their markets.

“As we expand our lending presence in Texas, we anticipate strong demand from the affordable housing development community,” continues Bennett. “So, adding to our member roster of Texas-based banks is critically important to us. When we commit to finance a project, it’s wonderful to know that we will have funding support from a diverse group of institutions that can also take advantage of the array of benefits provided by our loans.”

Centrant recently issued its first Texas loan commitment to finance a new affordable multifamily project that will be located in San Angelo. The organization is currently underwriting applications for similar projects in Cisco and Plainview.