The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Treasury announced awardees of its 2018 CDFI Fund Financial Assistance (FA) and Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Awards. Community Vision received a $875,000 FA award and a $750,000 HFFI award.

Community Vision will use this FA award to further our place-based work in Oakland by providing low-rate and flexible loans that finance affordable housing development throughout the city. Community Vision used last year’s FA award towards the development of similar efforts throughout the broader Bay Area. Since 1998, Community Vision has received 16 CDFI FA awards totaling more than $14.8 million.

“The housing crisis has made it extremely challenging for people to access affordable housing in Oakland especially,” said Ross Culverwell, Community Vision’s chief lending officer. “We’ve had great success working in partnership with groups like the Oakland Community Land Trust to ensure that Oakland residents have the opportunity to stay in their communities. The FA award will support us in growing these kinds of efforts.”

The HFFI award allows Community Vision to expand our growing healthy food access work, including the California FreshWorks program. In September 2018 alone we committed more than $7.4 million to a diversity of high-impact projects throughout California. In total, Community Vision has received three HFFI awards totaling $5.75 million.

“More than 1 million Californians, most of them low-income, live in communities that have limited healthy food options. This is a symptom of systemic discrimination that has resulted in decades of disinvestment,” said Catherine Howard, Community Vision’s director of strategic initiatives and director of the California FreshWorks program. “As an organization dedicated to increasing racial and economic equity Community Vision will use its HFFI award to finance development of new grocery stores and other food outlets that create local wealth, local jobs, and local places to buy fresh food in historically disinvested communities.”

The CDFI Fund awarded 302 CDFIs $ 202.2 million in awards this year. Community Vision is one of twelve California-based CDFIs to receive these awards.

Since our founding in 1987, Community Vision has deployed more than $190 million to support the development of more than 7,267 affordable housing units and 2.4 million square feet of community facility space for health clinics, childcare centers, arts organizations, and similar programs. These projects have benefited more than 1.2 million low-income California residents and preserved or created 18,381 jobs.