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Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation’s new leader focused on supporting people of color in the construction industry, minority business enterprises, and more.
Earlier this month, OFN hosted our final regional meeting of 2023 in Boston. This sold-out event offered OFN members and other mission lenders and partners based in the Northeast valuable opportunities for peer exchange and training to help them increase access to responsible financing in the low-income and low-wealth communities they serve.
Following this successful convening, we’re highlighting Boston-based Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation (MHIC), one of OFN’s newest members who joined our network in 2022.
In 1990, a consortium of banks founded MHIC to fill a critical gap in meeting the credit needs of affordable housing developers, creating a loan pool for construction and acquisition lending. Over the past three decades, MHIC has invested more than $3.2 billion to help create and sustain healthy, equitable communities where people, businesses, and organizations thrive.
Today, MHIC’s CEO Moddie Turay is committed to honoring and expanding MHIC’s legacy in New England, after taking the helm following the retirement of founding president and CEO Joe Flatley in July 2022.
Learn more from MHIC about how they finance justice as the CDFI enters year two under Turay’s leadership.
What’s the biggest opportunity to create greater impact that MHIC is considering?
MHIC is especially prioritizing increasing the participation of people of color in the construction industry, supporting minority business enterprises, and helping communities thrive by investing in developments that deliver positive and sustainable economic, health, and social benefits.
What kind of lending does MHIC do and where?
In addition to housing tax credits and many lending products to help finance affordable housing creation and preservation, mainly in Massachusetts, MHIC’s numerous New Markets Tax Credit allocation awards have helped fund over 110 developments in all six New England states. MHIC also bolsters community-serving businesses through its Healthy Retail and Commerce Fund and its minority business-focused Neighborhood Commerce Fund. Finally, MHIC invests in high-impact, mixed-use, mixed-income projects with the potential to transform neighborhoods through the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund.
In the past year, what project do you feel had the biggest impact on the community you serve?
MHIC believes that sustained investment in multiple properties within a neighborhood can have a transformative effect, making the community healthier, more secure, and with greater opportunities for those who live and work there.
Roxbury, Massachusetts – particularly the Nubian Square neighborhood – is an example of the impact of this strategy. Since 1990, we have invested over $400 million in Roxbury and $110 million in Nubian Square alone. In the past fiscal year, our Healthy Retail and Commerce Fund supported Nubian Markets, a full-service Halal market and café owned by two Black entrepreneurs who are prioritizing offering products from minority-owned businesses. We also provided a purchase option loan so they can eventually own the real estate where the business operates.
MHIC also provided predevelopment financing for Nubian Ascends, a mixed-use development that will be a cultural, entertainment, and artistic mecca containing a life sciences training center, medical and office space, a culinary hall, entertainment, and artistic venues, 15 homeownership opportunities for local artists, and a publicly accessible pedestrian corridor.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your CDFI?
MHIC’s biggest challenge is broadening its investor base to achieve scale with some of its most innovative and impactful financing programs.
What advice do you have for people interested in learning about the CDFI industry?
Become involved – CDFIs are very engaged in their communities, so there are many opportunities to volunteer, become a community representative, or intern with your local CDFI. The CDFI Fund’s impact blog and OFN’s public policy communications are good ways to follow what’s happening in the industry.
Are you a CDFI interested in joining OFN’s membership? Learn more about the benefits of joining our network of 400 members and apply today!
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