Attendees visiting the Mill on North, a food hall

Photo: 2023 OFN Conference attendees visiting the Mill on North, a food hall project developed by NHS of Baltimore in partnership with the Coppin Heights CDC.

Baltimore CDFI Brings Hope and Excitement to Residents Through Neighborhood Investment

NHS of Baltimore showed their impact in action during the 2023 OFN Conference with a tour of a new neighborhood food hall they’re helping to finance

Read time: 4 minutes

From October 15-18, the CDFI industry gathered in our nation’s capital for the 39th annual OFN Conference. This year, the theme was Capital Meets Purpose. As we reflect on an incredible event, we’re highlighting the work of one of our conference co-hosts, Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Baltimore. 

Founded in 1974 as a consortium of residents, community groups, foundations, business leaders, and local government, NHS of Baltimore joined OFN’s membership in 2022. Their mission is to spark renewed vitality in neighborhoods by engaging community partners and residents, increasing sustainable homeownership, and advancing innovative capital solutions.  

NHS of Baltimore accomplishes its mission by helping to improve the physical appearance of neighborhoods and stabilizing local real estate markets. The CDFI also provides a clearinghouse of easily accessed information and specialized financial tools for homebuyers, rehabbers, and homeowners. 

Check out OFN’s recent interview with CEO Dan Ellis where he speaks about NHS of Baltimore’s work and the driving force behind its impact. 

What is your “why” for working in the CDFI industry, and how did you end up at NHS of Baltimore?

As a person of faith, I have dedicated my life to bringing God’s love to people and places often excluded from opportunity. With a background in community organizing and housing, I joined my CDFI to be able to ensure capital flowed to people and communities directly. I am also committed to using my privilege and access to support people and communities often marginalized by our power structures.

In the past fiscal year, what project do you feel had the most significant impact on your community?

NHS of Baltimore, in partnership with Coppin Heights CDC, is building The Mill on North, a food hall scheduled to open very soon. This project, which is four years in the making, has required us to raise over $2 million of equity and has received an additional $2 million of CDFI debt. This project will create a space where residents can gather and have food options for their families. It is also creating a place where seven Black-owned local businesses will be able to thrive.

This type of investment, typically reserved for more affluent communities, brings hope and excitement to neighborhood residents. The long-term impact of this investment is bringing positive transformation to the community. 

The Mill on North was one of three businesses featured on a CDFIs in Action Tour of Mt. Rainier and Baltimore during the 2023 OFN Conference.

What advice do you have for people who are interested in learning about the CDFI Industry?

Talk to people currently working in the CDFI industry to learn what they do. Each CDFI is unique, but they all have the common commitment to bringing capital and community together. By talking to a variety of CDFI leaders you will gain insight into the industry. 

NHS of Baltimore team

The NHS of Baltimore team

Stay up to date on NHS of Baltimore by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and see the positive impact they’re making in their community, along with other local OFN members, through vibrant “CDFIs in Action” tour pictures from the OFN Conference.

2023 OFN Conference Recap 

OFN is grateful for the partnership and support of all our 2023 conference co-hosts:  

  • Baltimore Community Lending 
  • Building Hope, CBA Fund 
  • City First Enterprises 
  • Community Business Partnership 
  • Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) 
  • Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. 
  • FSC First 
  • Housing Assistance Council 
  • Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) 
  • LISC DC 
  • Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) 
  • Momentus Capital 
  • National Housing Trust Community Development Fund 
  • NCRC Community Development Fund 
  • NHS of Baltimore 
  • Self-Help Ventures Fund 
  • Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) 

Missed the conference? Check out our recap page for plenary recordings, photos, session slides, and other content! 

Are you a CDFI interested in joining OFN’s membership? Learn more about the benefits of joining our network of more than 400 members and apply today!

Find Other CDFIs  
Interested in learning more about other CDFIs in your region? Visit OFN’s CDFI Locator.

Stay Connected with OFN

Subscribe to OFN newsletters to receive regular updates straight to your inbox and check out the OFN blog for the latest coverage from OFN and the CDFI industry.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Related Articles

Tags: , ,