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Mar. 24, 2014

Mercy Loan Fund Provides Cesar Chavez Foundation $9.9 Million Loan

By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Dallas—Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) has acquired The Park at Cliff Creek in Dallas, thanks to a $9.9 million loan from Mercy Loan Fund, in partnership with the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF). The acquisition enables more than 500 low-income residents to continue to enjoy quality, affordable housing at the 280-unit apartment community.

The Park at Cliff Creek offers affordable rental housing to working families at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income. “Like most affordable housing developments, the acquisition of The Park at Cliff Creek required collaboration among several partners to get the deal done,” Alisa Wilson, Mercy Loan Fund senior loan officer, who was responsible for the loan, tells MHN. “Cesar Chavez Foundation worked closely with city and state agencies to obtain the necessary approvals, and Mercy Loan Fund partnered with another CDFI, the Low Income Investment Fund, in order to be able to provide an acquisition loan of this size.”

Mercy Loan Fund provides financing to hundreds of local non-profit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities. Mercy Loan Fund has made 452 loans totaling $242 million across 38 states. The loans enable both the creation of new development and the preservation of housing for low-income people.

The non-profit Cesar Chavez Foundation helps preserve, promote and apply the legacy of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. It does so by developing affordable housing for low- and very-low-income people, among other initiatives. It has built or renovated and manages more than 4,000 high-quality affordable housing units in four states.

“Mercy Loan Fund is proud to help the Cesar Chavez Foundation keep The Park at Cliff Creek affordable for the 505 residents who call it home,” says Julie Gould, Mercy Loan Fund president. “We are grateful for our partnership with the Cesar Chavez Foundation for the work they do to benefit low-income people.”

Adds Judi Kende, LIIF senior vice president, Eastern and Central Regions: “LIIF believes integrated approaches like The Park at Cliff Creek, which links quality, affordable housing with an onsite learning center to support youth, are particularly important in increasing opportunity for low-income families.”

As Kende indicates, the acquisition will mean considerably more than just a continued roof over their heads for residents of The Park at Cliff Creek.

“The residents will benefit from Cesar Chavez Foundation’s ownership of the community because of the organization’s extensive experience with the development and management of high-quality, service-enhanced affordable housing,” Wilson says. “CCF will provide after-school and summer programs for youth and teens, exercise classes and health and nutrition classes. Furthermore, CCF plans to refinance the community with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which would preserve its affordability for the next 30 years.”

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