DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - November 09, 2015) - By combining lending with real estate expertise and other initiatives in Michigan, nonprofit IFF shows the leadership role that community development financial institutions can play in transforming low-income areas. Since 2014, IFF has provided over $25 million in financing for nonprofits and housing developers across the state, $14 million of which has been in the city of Detroit.

This week IFF serves as co-host to a conference in Detroit being held by national CDFI association Opportunity Finance Network to highlight the work of CDFIs and their partners throughout the country, particularly in a city where revitalization is happening through community partnerships and civic engagement.

"CDFIs are instrumental in revitalizing neighborhoods and ensuring that all residents have opportunity," said Kirby Burkholder, executive director of IFF's Michigan office. "In Michigan, our lending has supported 30 nonprofits that deliver critical services in high-need communities. We are grateful for the people and organizations who make our work possible, not only here but throughout IFF's Midwest region."

At the neighborhood level, IFF has made nearly $7 million in loans in Detroit's Midtown and North End communities and engages with groups such as Midtown Detroit Inc. to fulfill a long-term vision for the area. In the city's southwest side, IFF has provided $1.6 million in financing, with another $1.2 million in approved loans, and works with Skillman Foundation and Southwest Solutions on projects that involve housing and early childhood care and education.

Through partnerships with foundations, IFF has focused efforts on understanding the current ECCE landscape in Michigan. IFF completed a study assessing ECCE needs in Detroit and soon will release the results from similar research done in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties -- an initiative led by major foundations in the Tri-County region.

"Helping families gain access to quality child care in their communities has been part of IFF's mission since the early 1990s," CEO Joe Neri said. "Working with nonprofits, foundations and government at the federal, state and municipal level, IFF has created and implemented programs to add high-quality child care centers for infants through school-age children. We're proud of our work in this field and believe our investments strengthen children, families and communities."

IFF's expansion into Michigan nearly two years ago was its first office to open with all of its lending products; real estate consulting and development activities; and research studies, which help to identify demand for human services, health and education in low-income communities. Since then, IFF has helped over 19 agencies on RES projects, including charter schools and health care providers.

In Detroit, IFF is also a leader in the CDFI Coalition, a collaboration among CDFIs that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the city. IFF forms partnerships with other CDFIs and has participated in loans with Capital Impact Partners, Detroit Development, Invest Detroit and Opportunity Resource Fund. Different from traditional lenders, CDFIs are mission-driven organizations certified by the U.S. Treasury Department to bring capital to economically distressed areas.

About IFF
IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. From child care to senior housing, IFF works closely with clients from every sector, offering affordable, flexible financing; full-scale real estate consulting; and community development services. Since 1988, we have made over $570 million in loans, leveraged $1.8 billion in community investments and grown our total managed assets to $371 million.

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Jose Cerda III