Eversource tax-credit contribution helps Capital for Change address state housing needs

To help address statewide housing challenges, Hartford-based utility company Eversource Energy has contributed $500,000 through a state tax-credit program to a nonprofit loan fund benefitting low- and moderate-income residents.

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) board of directors recently approved the housing tax credit award to Wallingford-based Capital for Change Inc., Connecticut's largest full-service community development financial institution. Eversource then purchased the tax credits.

Capital for Change officials said the nonprofit organization will use the funds to bolster its revolving-loan fund program supporting affordable-housing opportunities for renters and homebuyers. It is not to be used for operations or to cover costs of other programs.

Tom Dorsey, Eversource’s Manager of Governmental Affairs stated that “Eversource is pleased to once again partner with Capital for Change in its effort to develop affordable housing in Connecticut. It is so vitally important for our communities throughout the State.”

“As the administrator of the Housing Tax Credit Contribution Program, CHFA sees first-hand the success of Capital for Change’s efforts to support the development of affordable housing.  Capital for Change directs its capital and expertise to smaller scale developments, where financing options can be difficult to secure,” said Nandini Natarajan, Chief Executive Officer–Executive Director of CHFA

CHFA's Housing's Tax Credit Contribution (HTCC) program annually distributes up to $10 million in state tax credits for businesses to support nonprofits that develop housing for Connecticut residents identified as having very low, low and moderate incomes.

“This contribution represents an extremely exciting opportunity for housing developers in Connecticut,” said Brianna Gavigan, Capital for Change's program and grant administrator, who added that the state lacks roughly 87,000 units of affordable rental housing.

“We're persistently seeking partnerships with housing developers in need of construction, bridge, and permanent financing for rental and homeownership developments,” Gavigan said.

Such loans may be short- or long-term depending on each project's needs and support housing for low- to moderate-income households earning less than 100 percent of the area's median income. Set-asides are available for development and redevelopment of housing for families and individuals earning less than 50 percent and 25 percent of the area’s median income, as well as affordable-homeownership opportunities offering three or more bedrooms.

The additional funds will help address social and economic housing inequities across Connecticut, which is one part of a larger process including zoning reform efforts, desegregation and additional investment in affordable housing.

Through the finance authority's competitive HTCC program, private businesses may buy tax credits and apply them to their corporate taxes, and nonprofit developers may use the money for affordable-housing projects. Additional information about the finance authority and its tax-credit program is available online at chfa.org.

“Capital for Change is pleased by this demonstration of the state's trust and foresight, which will go a long way toward helping many Connecticut residents who are in great need of capital and other assistance during these difficult economic times,” said Calvin B. Vinal, president and CEO of the organization.

“The commitment of these dollars makes a significant difference in our ability to support affordable housing development in Connecticut,” said Charles Bodie, Capital for Change's director of finance and reporting.

“That work goes beyond just the dollars and cents of lower housing costs and project employment by having a positive impact on the well-being of residents,” Bodie added. “This funding support is something in which we can all take pride.”

Since 2017, Capital for Change loans have permitted nearly 2,500 housing units to be created or maintained while helping to create more than 750 jobs and providing homebuyer training and foreclosure counseling to 1,000 families.

Those with questions about Capital for Change's financing opportunities may contact Carla Weil, director of commercial lending, at (203) 623-7868 or cweil@capitalforchange.org. Additional information is available online at CapitalForChange.org and the organization's Facebook page, “Capital for Change, Inc.”

Capital for Change's mission is to provide flexible, creative and responsive financial products and services to benefit low- and moderate-income persons, and minority and otherwise underserved individuals, businesses and communities. Its programs and products broaden access to affordable housing, energy efficiency and job opportunities.

Capital for Change Inc. was created in 2016 through the mergers of the Community Capital Fund, Connecticut Housing Investment Fund and the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, shaping an organization with a statewide history of service stretching back to 1968. Serving Connecticut for more than 50 years, C4C has invested more than $425 million in mission-driven capital statewide.

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