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Buying, Selling, & Leasing Can Help With Community Development Assistance

The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) provides low-interest loans for housing development that benefit Chicago’s disinvested communities. As a member of Investing in Communities®, the Chicago Community Loan Fund can receive funding from the real estate transactions of its supporters at no cost to the supporter or to CCLF​. They have already received $7,041, and the more supporters that use this free platform before engaging a real estate agent, the more CCLF can provide development assistance to emerging businesses and nonprofits that benefit low to moderate-income Chicago residents.

History and Impact

Founded in 1991, the CCLF is a Community Development Finance Institution started by a group of advocates for social enterprise financing. They have grown into a leading lender for community development organizations in Chicago, managing a portfolio over $100 million. Their  $210 million of financing has led to an additional $1.4 billion in investment, 5,622 new jobs, 9,538 units of affordable housing, and over 4 million square feet of commercial and retail community facility space. For many community-driven projects, the initial capital needed to get off the ground is simply impossible to obtain from other lenders. CCLF fills this credit gap and helps community development efforts by offering cost flexible financing in commercial retail financing, predevelopment loans, construction and rehabilitation loans, housing cooperative loans, mini-permanent and permanent mortgage loans, equipment and working capital loans, as well as valuable workshops, sustainability resources, and developmental assistance

Commercial Retail Financing 

CCLF’s Activate Retail initiative supports new community businesses and job opportunities, healthy food options, and community spaces that strengthen the local economy. 

Predevelopment Loans

It can be difficult for projects to get approved for loans before they have much  more than simply a good idea. Predevelopment Loans are an essential early step toward turning great ideas into real community-boosting projects. The Chicago Community Loan Fund supports such efforts and accepts loan applications for projects still in the pre-development stage.

Construction and Rehabilitation Loans

The Chicago Community Loan Fund provides short term loans for construction and rehabilitation projects that benefit low to middle-income Chicago communities. 

Housing-Cooperative Loans

For individuals interested in exploring alternative housing models, such as housing cooperatives, CCLF provides the Info Hub for Cooperative Communities in Chicago . Beyond information, CCLF also provides housing-cooperative loans. The information hub is organized for people who want to either:

  • Build affordable cooperative communities to live in or; 
  • Regroup or recharge their existing community.

Mini-permanent and Permanent Mortgage Loans

Nonprofit organizations are on the front lines of community development, and the Chicago Community Loan Fund is there to help them secure properties by financing organizations engaged in:

  • Housing;
  • Community-Based Social Service; or
  • Economic Development Projects.

Equipment and Working-Capital Loans

The Chicago Community Loan Fund provides loans for equipment to support the efforts of:

  • Nonprofits;
  • Social Enterprises;
  • Small Businesses; and
  • Worker-owned Cooperatives.

Sustainability Resources and Development Assistance

While community development enterprises need capital, CCLF realizes that they also need knowledge and other resources. They offer:

  • Workshops – covering different topics relevant to community development efforts, including technical assistance and sustainability;
  • Sustainability Resources – information and resources for energy efficient, environmentally friendly sustainable building projects; and
  • Development Assistance – offers referrals to authoritative resources such as government agencies or professional services on a wide spectrum of subjects, including: Accounting, Fundraising and Marketing, Management and Sustainability. 

Your Purchase, Sale, or Lease Supports Community Development in Chicago

Anyone who cares about social enterprise financing can turn virtually any brokered real estate transaction into funding for the Chicago Community Loan Fund. Generate funding for the cause by using this free platform to choose among real estate agents that are appropriate for your residential or commercial real estate needs. Or use IIC to make arrangements with an agent you already have in mind. For example, the purchase or sale of $300,000 home can result in about $1,300 of free funding, which has a direct impact on our mission. Ready to start?

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Focus Area: Community Development, Social Justice

Budget: $500k - $1 million

Total IIC Funding:

Want to help this charity with your next real estate transaction?

We respect your privacy and want to make sure you are totally at ease. By submitting, you are sharing your information with us only and we will not share it with or sell it to anyone else. We will contact you by email to get more information about your real estate needs. Then we will provide you with several agents suited to your needs and you may contact them -or not- as you choose. There’s no sales pitch or pressure. It's entirely your choice.


As a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization, Chicago Community Loan Fund is eligible to receive at least 70% of the referral fee when you use Investing In Communities (IIC) to sign up with ANY real estate broker to handle your residential or commercial property transaction. Referral fees are a common expense paid by brokers only to other brokers for much desired referrals. As a licensed broker with a charitable mission, IIC is able to accept referral fees and pass most of those funds to your charity of choice - at no cost to you.
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