A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that makes loans for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable rental housing, predominantly on the West and South sides of Chicago. 

The Organization

The mission of the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is to provide access to capital for multi-family apartment buildings that is unavailable from traditional lenders. Since its inception in 1984, CIC has provided $1.4 billion for 2,400 loans that have improved and preserved 62,000 units of affordable rental housing in the Chicago region. In addition, CIC assembles distressed properties for redevelopment and provides policy leadership through The Preservation Compact.

The Challenge

Research indicates that families living in high poverty neighborhoods often experience more negative social outcomes than those that live in communities of opportunity where there are greater amenities, such as high performing schools, recreational facilities and access to fresh foods, plentiful employment, and multiple transportation options. While many prefer to stay and work to improve their communities, others seeking housing options in communities with more amenities and resources often find it difficult, if not impossible, due to a lack of supply of rental housing that is affordable to poor and working-class families.

The Solution

CIC believes that in addition to investing in under-resourced communities, it is also essential to increase the amount of affordable housing available in thriving communities. CIC is launching an innovative $36.5 million fund that provides below-market-rate capital to encourage property owners to buy existing, functioning apartment buildings in higher opportunity areas, and maintain at least 20% of their units as affordable.  Affordable units are targeted to households who earn no more than 50 percent of area median income.

The Impact

The $5 million loan from Benefit Chicago will provide a critical part of the blended capital for the OIF, allowing the Fund to provide favorable rates for developers. CIC projects the Fund will facilitate the acquisition and development of 1500 apartments in mixed-income buildings, of which 300 will be solely available to low-income individuals and families.


Photo of Jack MarkowskiJack Markowski, President of CIC
“This Fund shows what can be achieved when private, public, and social impact investors come together. Through this partnership, we are able to leverage scarce public resources and efficiently create affordable units in strong markets. The social impact investment from Benefit Chicago was a key element in securing private investments and offering an attractive product to developers.”