Positive Social Purpose Lending—Making a Difference in Lives
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) began investing in loans that support affordable housing and community development in impoverished communities in 1990, through the Positive Social Purpose (PSP) Lending Program. This program was created to achieve a market rate of return while also promoting affordable housing and community development in underprivileged areas. Community development facilities funded through the PSP Lending Program have included homeless shelters, health care centers and clinics, community centers and charter schools—all with a goal of providing services to low- and moderate-income people.
312 Greenwich Street
312 & 330 Greenwich Street: Meeting Community Needs through Support Services
In November 2013, Wespath, through its PSP Lending Program, purchased a $1.1 million loan for a special needs treatment and habilitation program in Hempstead (Nassau County), New York through the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), a valued Wespath investing partner since 1997. The loan is insured by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA); property operations, including support services, are funded by the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. The loan provided funding on two separate properties at 312 and 330 Greenwich Street, both of which are occupied by The Center for Rapid Recovery, Inc. (CRR). CRR operates the facility as a medically supervised outpatient clinic providing treatment and support services for people with chemical dependency, HIV/AIDS, and developmental disabilities.
CRR’s treatment and support services include:
Medicaid Service Coordination that identifies, links and monitors service provision for people with developmental disabilities
Day Community Habilitation program that provides people-centered, pre-vocational training and social skills development to people with mild-to-moderate developmental disabilities, helping them integrate successfully into their communities
At-home training to improve individual skills to help people successfully reside and remain living at home
At-home and off-site training and support to parents and family members of people with developmental disabilities
Outpatient chemical dependency program that provides treatment to people with a primary or co-occurring diagnosis of substance abuse, facilitating abstinence from alcohol and other non-prescribed, mood-altering drugs
Faith-based HIV/AIDS and chemical dependence prevention educational programs
Two certified individualized residential alternative programs with staff support 24-hours-a-day; services provided are designed for the individual, based on specific needs to help people live more independently1
CRR is a non-profit 501(c)(3) faith-based and minority-focused behavioral healthcare organization established in 1994, primarily serving racially and linguistically diverse residents of Long Island, New York. The organization focuses its resources on eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health care services by offering culturally competent care to people (as well as their family members) with, or at risk for, developmental disabilities, chemical dependence, HIV/AIDS, and mental health related issues.2 Participants in the programs offered by CRR at 312 and 330 Greenwich are individuals with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income level.
330 Greenwich Street
CPC: Providing Capital to Underserved Communities
CPC is a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing finance that has provided a consistent source of capital to underserved housing markets throughout New York State since its inception in 1974. It continues its commitment to delivering financing and technical expertise and to working closely with a range of community partners to create and preserve affordable housing. CPC has contributed to the preservation or creation of over 157,000 units of affordable housing, initiated numerous downtown revitalizations, and improved the quality and energy efficiency of the multifamily housing stock.3
In 2013, Wespath approved CPC to underwrite and submit SONYMA-insured loans for the PSP Lending Program. SONYMA is an independent agency created in 1970 by New York State to provide affordable, single‐family mortgage financing opportunities to New York residents, as well as mortgage insurance and credit support for affordable multifamily housing projects and special care facilities in the state. To date, Wespath has partnered with CPC to purchase three SONYMA-insured loans. Several similar housing and community development loan opportunities are under review and expected to be submitted through the PSP Lending Program.
A Collaborative Approach with Positive Expectations
The collaborative efforts of Wespath, CPC, and SONYMA on the 312 and 330 Greenwich Street loan and similar transactions have resulted in projects that provide services to low-income individuals, who may otherwise not have access. These projects are designed to have a positive impact on retirement plan participants, who benefit from the anticipated financial returns on Positive Social Purpose investments, as well as on the residents who benefit from the much-needed support services available to them.
1 http://www.centerforrapidrecovery.org/services0.aspx (Note 2/6/18: URL no longer works)
2 http://www.centerforrapidrecovery.org/about_us0.aspx (Note 2/6/18: URL no longer works)
Courtesy of The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC)