BofA Merrill Lynch Increases Community Development Lending by 25 Percent

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Community Development Banking business finalized about $3.3 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments, and other real estate development mechanisms in 2013, roughly 25 percent more than during 2012.

New York—Bank of America Merrill Lynch has reported that its Community Development Banking business finalized about $3.3 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments, and other real estate development mechanisms in 2013, roughly 25 percent more than during 2012. According to the bank, the financing helped create about more than 13,600 affordable housing units.

Of that total, Community Development Banking activity in ’13 included nearly $2.2 billion in CRE-based lending, up more than 25 percent from the previous year. The bank also made more than $1.1 billion in tax credit investments last year, a roughly 20 percent increase over 2012.

For example, in San Diego, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing $44 million in financing and $33 million in equity investment for the construction of 200 affordable housing units for families, seniors and young people formerly in foster care. The apartments are part of a multi-phase project by Bridge Housing that will convert a former industrial neighborhood into a mixed-use TOD.

The bank is also providing more than $23 million in construction financing and more than $25 million in tax credit equity for the conversion of a former school in Worcester, Mass., into 84 units of mixed-income multifamily housing. Built in 1911, the four-story Worcester Vocational Technical School will become Voke Lofts. The project by WinnCompanies is a component of the city of Worcester’s Gateway Park Master Plan.

In Fort Worth, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing $16.5 million in loans and $13.3 million in tax credit equity for the construction of 120 affordable apartments in six new buildings. Developed by Miller Valentine Group, the Reserve at Western Center will provide homes for individuals and families with incomes of 30 percent, 50 percent, and 60 percent of the area median income.

The bank is also the nation’s largest investor in community development financial institutions (CDFIs, or nonprofit community loan centers), partnering with more than 240 CDFIs partners in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2013, Bank of America completed 11 transactions totaling $65.4 million to CDFIs financing affordable housing.

Bank of America Community Development Corp., which serves as a developer and provides debt and equity financing for properties in low- and moderate-income areas, completed more than $90 million in developments in 2013. Last year it also began construction on more than $100 million in developments.