By Gretchen Greiner-Lott
Vice President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
WRAG, with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, launched the Our Region, Your Investment initiative in 2016 in an effort to bring new capital to the region’s growing housing affordability crisis. This was a first of its kind targeted initiative for both WRAG and the Loan Fund. Since then, we have accomplished a great deal:
- Surpassed our fundraising goal – twice!
- Raised over $12 million in investments
- Preserved or produced over 650 (and counting) housing units around the region
- Featured in an in-depth Social Return on Investment report, published in November 2017
- Invited to participated in the Urban Institute’s impact investing project, resulting in a May 2018 report that included Our Region, Your Investment
- Helped to bring new investors to the impact investing space and now hosts the WIIN (WRAG’s Impact Investors Network)
Recently, Enterprise Community Loan Fund received an issuer credit rating of AA- from S&P Global Ratings. This now allows them to look into providing a greater array of investment options to a wider range of investors, which could enhance their ability to raise investment capital and increase their impact in financing affordable homes and community facilities. As a result, they are no longer offering their Community Impact Note on which the Our Region, Your Investment initiative was based.
This means that:
- New sales and renewals of the Note will not take place
- Interest on existing Notes will continue to accrue and payments of interest will be remitted when due
- 100% of existing Notes remain fully invested in the community and delivering impact
Although this initiative has ended, WRAG’s dedication to addressing housing affordability in our region remains a priority. We will explore ways to continue bringing new capital to this region’s housing challenge – or any other new roles we can play.
We are excited for what the future holds and look forward to keeping you posted on our next steps.