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Benefit Chicago invests in newly formed Credit Strategies Fund created by Chicago-based National Community Investment Fund to promote long-term economic growth on the South and West Sides of Chicago

Benefit Chicago is excited to announce an investment of $5 million to the newly created NCIF Credit Strategies Fund (CSF) formed by the Chicago-based National Community Investment Fund (NCIF). The investment hopes to leverage up to $25 million in local investments and will support high-impact projects that increase access to employment, healthcare, education, and quality housing on Chicago’s South and West sides.

“There is a disparity that exists across Chicago communities, and many neighborhoods face barriers to economic stability, wealth accumulation, and resident retention,” said Saurabh Narain, President and CEO of NCIF. “With Benefit Chicago’s support, the NCIF Credit Strategies Fund will strategically invest resources in Chicago’s underserved communities to address these needs.”

The goal of the CSF is to create a vehicle that enables impact investors to deploy loans and investment capital into geographic and programmatic areas of their choice. The fund will promote long-term economic growth in neighborhoods nationally – including communities on the South and West Sides of Chicago – using available programs like the New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) to help create sustainable place-based economic change.

Impact investors, including foundations, CRA bank lenders, and high net worth individuals can utilize the CSF vehicle to identify and support causes and geographies in a cost-effective manner generating reasonable returns and diversified risk.

How will this funding be distributed?

Through the creation of CSF, NCIF has dedicated $25 million of NMTC to Chicago via its OneCity strategy and will lend $5 million into projects that generate comprehensive impact in Chicago including Pullman, Bronzeville, and Washington Park.

Pullman Community Center Exterior
NCIF Credit Strategies Fund hopes to spur more developments like the Pullman Community Center, which opened in November 2018.

From acquiring and developing quality housing infrastructure to promoting local businesses that create jobs, these projects all have the potential to reduce existing disparity and allow residents and businesses to grow independent wealth.

“Benefit Chicago’s investment in NCIF Credit Strategies Fund is part of our continued effort to expand financial resources and create sustainable change in communities across Chicago,” said William W. Towns, Executive Director of Benefit Chicago, “its unique financing model will support the growth of businesses addressing the needs of the community.”

Benefit Chicago has committed $63 million in impact investments since 2016 and raised $97 million in capital from local individuals and institutional investors. Benefit Chicago is proud to work with NCIF to support high-impact projects that have a multiplier effect in communities across Chicago.

More information about the NCIF Credit Strategies Fund can be found at NCIF.org.