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Nehemiah targets Reno for microlending

NNBW Staff

A Sacramento-based nonprofit lender said last week it has targeted Reno as one of a dozen cities for a nationwide initiative.

Nehemiah Community Reinvestment Fund said it will make short-term, lowinterest loans to community-based and religious organizations that provide affordable housing or create jobs.

The Nehemiah Corp.

of California, parent of the reinvestment fund, will capitalize the effort with an initial contribution of about $5.5 million.

Along with Reno, cities targeted in the nationwide rollout are Las Vegas, Phoenix,Tucson, Kansas City,Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City, St.

Lois, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Why Reno? “Nehemiah recognizes there is a great and growing need for affordable housing in Reno,” said Louis Goldberg, a spokesman for Nehemiah.

Although $5.5 million doesn’t sound like a lot for a 12-city lending program, Goldberg said most of the loans are small typically $5,000 to $250,000 and short-term.

During the next three years, the nonprofit expects to make $13 million in loans to assist about $40 million in construction projects.

The reinvestment fund said its loans may be used for all phases of development of affordable housing everything from feasibility studies and land purchases to construction loans and short-term permanent financing.

Along with housing loans, the group will make economic development loans for projects in low-income neighborhoods.

That includes projects such as manufacturing facilities or new-business incubators as well as well as office and retail developments.