Bank of America Merrill Lynch Lending Up Sharply

Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided more than $1.6 billion in community development lending and investing in the first six months of 2013. The result will be the creation of more than 6,500 affordable housing units.

Charlotte, N.C.—Bank of America Merrill Lynch provided more than $1.6 billion in community development lending and investing in the first six months of 2013. The result will be the creation of more than 6,500 affordable housing units.

Included in this year’s commitments are $16.1 million in construction financing and $16.2 million in indirect tax credit equity to develop 69 studio apartments for once-homeless people in the downtown Los Angeles Skid Row neighborhood.

The New Pershing project is being developed by the Skid Row Housing Trust, which operates more than 1,500 units of permanent supportive housing for some of Los Angeles’ most impoverished residents.

“We have strong relationships with many development organizations, and we’re always interested in developments that make sense financially, while serving a population that needs housing,” Maria Barry, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking executive, tells MHN. “New Pershing is a great example of that, and we’re pleased to help Skid Row Housing Trust create new homes for formerly homeless people, while also preserving part of a historic downtown building.”

Community Development Banking includes the Banc of America Community Development Corp., which as a development partner provides debt and equity financing for properties in low- and moderate-income communities.

As Barry notes, Bank of America Merrill Lynch works closely with organizations that help revitalize communities. Those partnerships strive for financial solutions that benefit seniors, veterans, students and other low- and moderate-income groups nationwide. Loans and investments also include supportive housing efforts and projects that incorporate green and transit-oriented initiatives.

The first six months of this year saw activity by Community Development Banking that included approximately $1 billion in commercial real-estate-based lending, an increase of 67 percent from $600 million in 2012.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch also made more than $664 million in tax credit investments. That number represents a more than doubling of the nearly $252 million invested over the same period last year.

“As these big increases in loans and investments show, demand for affordable hosing, charter schools and other community development projects remains strong,” Barry notes. “By working with others who are dedicated to improving neighborhoods, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is proud to build on its long-standing leadership in community development and help create even more homes for people in need.”

In addition, she says, “Developers who endured the recession are continuing to find the right opportunities to serve low-and moderate-income communities.”

The great need for affordable housing is ongoing, Barry says, adding, “Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains committed to providing financing solutions, as evidenced by our leadership in this area for more than 30 years.”