LISC creating new lending opportunity for green building

As the green building movement continues to become more widespread and in demand, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky is working to reduce the burden of implementing green building strategies for developments in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.

"LISC strongly believes that these green efforts are key components in achieving sustainable communities of choice and opportunity - good places to work, do business and raise children," said Brooke Linkow, Assistant Program Officer with LISC.

As a result, LISC's Green Development Center (GDC) has developed two types of lending products to finance green features of affordable housing - Community Economic Development and Community Facility Projects.

The programs are structured to encourage green building strategies where the upfront capital costs might otherwise make them cost-prohibitive.  The funds are distributed on a first come-first serve basis with all LISC offices eligible for the recoverable grants and loans.  Below are two examples of the program benefits being offered.
  • Predevelopment financing up to $30,000 to pay the costs of predevelopment, including plan preparation and consulting fees; and
  • Construction/Mini-Perm financing up to $75,000 to pay the costs of critical green features at risk of elimination from the development plan due to budget.
Grants within the pre-development financing program will contain no interest while loans are capped at 3 percent per annum with a limit of a two year duration.  Construction/Mini-Perm loans also carry a 3 percent per annum rate with a term between 7 to 10 years.

To be eligible for these financial programs, LISC states that applicants must meet project criteria that includes minimum Energy Star guidelines for residential development, a listing of the project's greening strategies, as well as implementation of water conservation strategies approved by the EPA.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Illustration by Bret Schulte
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