why our work matters

Healthy families and communities require good jobs. More than half of N.H.'s private-sector workers are self-employed or work for a small business.

We offer loans, investments, and training to job-creating businesses that, for a variety of reasons, lack access to the capital they need to succeed.

The Community Loan Fund's Business Finance team provides business loans and investments, and recommends customized training, to help these enterprises be resilient and adaptable to changing market conditions. The companies we lend to:

  • Create jobs, with benefits. for workers who lack four-year college degrees
  • Increase their profitability and longevity by attracting, retaining and involving employees in teams, and by providing competitive compensation, promotion potential, profit-sharing and training
We look for places in N.H.'s economy where some combination of loans and training can have the greatest impact for families and communities.

Two of those places are nonprofit organizations and child care providers.

We recognize the important work nonprofits do for people and families with lower incomes and/or special needs.

Nonprofits that fill essential human needs—shelter, meals, health care, social and legal services—save lives and change lives every day. They are the fabric of our safety net, and creators of opportunity for thousands of people and families, especially those with lower incomes and/or special needs.

Quality, affordable, early education is one of the surest ways to create opportunity. Over the long term, children who have had quality early education have higher grades, better social skills, a greater ability to focus, and are more likely to attend college and to earn more money. They are less likely to need special educational services and to commit crimes as adults.

Working parents also rely on child care providers to keep their infants and toddlers safe, healthy and learning while they’re at work. Their employers are more likely to retain their workers and have less absenteeism.

Economic experts from Nobel laureates to the Federal Reserve agree that early education also boosts economic development. Especially with at-risk children and families, they say, the return on investment in quality early childhood programs is greater than with other economic-development projects.
Manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) are the most affordable form of homeownership for people and families with low and moderate incomes.

Yet people who own manufactured homes in investor-owned parks lack some important financial benefits of homeownership. Because they own the house but rent the land beneath it, their home’s value never grows. And because the land could be used for a different purpose, they can’t get home equity loans for renovations or repairs.

They are also vulnerable to excessive rent increases, poor-quality maintenance, infrastructure (like water, sewer and road) failures. They even risk losing their homes if the park closes. Each of these threats affects the security and well-being of families and communities.

We provide fixed-rate financing, specialized training and technical assistance that help homeowners in manufactured-home parks purchase and manage their communities as cooperative corporations.

This strategy not only protects families against excessive rent hikes and park closures, but also encourages pride and investment in their homes and neighborhoods.

In 2008, the Community Loan Fund and its national partners—Prosperity Now, NCB Capital Impact and NeighborWorks® America—launched ROC USA® to take our park conversion strategy nationwide.
Homeownership is one of the more important ways that families with low and moderate incomes in the United States build wealth. Two factors have blocked that path for owners of manufactured (also called mobile) homes.

The first was location. Homes in parks that can be closed at any time don't increase in value. That instability also discouraged lenders from offering home equity loans for these houses.

We addressed that problem in N.H. by providing financing, training, and technical assistance to help homeowners in parks purchase and manage their communities as cooperative corporations.

The second barrier was home financing. Although the homes had evolved from travel trailer to mobile home to houses constructed to federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) building codes, they were still financed as if they were cars.

Most homebuyers were offered only personal property loans, at rates 3 to 5 percentage points higher than traditional mortgage loans. This financing not only limited their ability to afford a home, it made the home harder to sell.

So we became the first lender in the country to offer fair, fixed-rate purchase and refinance loans to homeowners in resident-owned communities. We later extending the loans to homeowners who also owned the land under their house.

Our innovation was recognized in 2009 by the Opportunity Finance Network, which honored us with the NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance, the most prestigious honor in the field of community development finance.
Our multi-family housing program works to expand the amount of rental housing available to families of modest means, seniors, and renters with special needs, and to keep it affordable.

We do this in close collaboration with the state’s nonprofit housing development organizations, many of which we helped to create.

In many regions of N.H., these developers are the only ones building housing that is affordable for working families and people on fixed incomes. We support them by:

  • Making loans that fill gaps in the complex financing system that supports affordable housing development Providing training and advice to help them remain financially strong and productive; and
  • Advocating at all levels of government for policies that support the creation of decent, safe, and affordable housing for people at all income levels.

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CDFI Equal Housing Lender

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