CDFIs Launch $5 Million Kensington Lending Partnership in Philadelphia

Beth Lipson

On March 25, I had the pleasure of joining OFN senior vice president of development Amanda Joseph and a diverse range of community partners at the launch of the Kensington Lending Partnership, a collaboration between four local CDFIs committed to revitalizing and operationalizing equitable development in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood over the next three years.

Through a $5 million grant in 2018 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s PRO Neighborhoods program, Community First Fund, LISC Philadelphia, FINANTA, and Impact Services created the collaboration to increase financing for small business and mixed-use real estate development, housing improvements, and affordable homeownership in the area.

The CDFIs also received early support from Wells Fargo Regional Foundation during a year-long neighborhood development planning process. Their partnership has drawn support from Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez as well. A speaker at the launch event, she praised the CDFIs’ “all hands-on deck” approach and courage to “think big.”

I am deeply impressed and inspired by the Kensington Lending Partnership as a model for respectful collaboration and ensuring all voices—including youth, community groups, government, and non-profits—are heard and thoughtfully considered in development of plans and strategy.

Learn more about the Kensington Lending Partnership here.