Driving economic & social progress

Access to capital

We are deeply involved in community development work related to affordable housing, small business lending and neighborhood revitalization.

Community Development Banking

For example, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking provided more than $4.7 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions to create housing for individuals, families, veterans, seniors and the previously homeless across the U.S.

In 2018, the Community Development Banking group financed many high-impact projects, including Village on Mercy in Orlando, FL. This new construction, multifamily affordable housing development will consist of 166 units, with 50 percent reserved for formerly homeless individuals and families. The bank provided a $15.3 million construction loan and $19.4 million in LIHTC equity (through Enterprise Community Investments), which will help build a community center, playground, fitness trail and recreation space.

Learn more about our Community Development Banking efforts.

Community Development Financial Institutions

A good source of capital for those who may not qualify for a traditional bank loan is through community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which are private-sector loan centers that offer financing for small businesses, affordable housing and other economic revitalization projects, primarily within low- and moderate-income communities. We have provided a $1.5 billion portfolio of loans and investment to 255 CDFIs across the U.S. We underwrite loans to CDFIs and often provide philanthropic support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to help offset operating costs.

In 2018, we announced a $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program to connect U.S. military veteran business owners with affordable capital to help kick-start and grow their businesses. The loans will be administered through participating CDFIs.

In 2019, we issued our first social bond, highlighting the company's commitment to deploying capital to address global issues outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proceeds of the bond will refinance the company's investments in affordable housing and CDFIs. With this offering, Bank of America became the first U.S. bank to issue a social bond.

We also connect capital to women entrepreneurs through the Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program. Learn more about how we are helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses in the U.S.

Find a CDFI and learn more about CDFIs and how Bank of America provides access to capital to build thriving communities.

Lending to small and medium-sized businesses

Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and access to capital is critical to their success. We are at the forefront of helping small and medium-sized businesses position themselves for smart growth. We are increasing our lending to small and medium-sized businesses and extending credit through other innovative approaches such as loans and investments to community development financial institutions.

Learn more about our work with small businesses.

Community development lending and investment goal progress

In 2009, we established a 10-year, $1.5 trillion community development lending and investment goal, supporting communities across the U.S. to track progress in areas focusing on low- and moderate-income (LMI). The goal promotes economic growth in four key categories: 1) affordable housing, 2) small business, 3) consumer lending and 4) economic development. We have loaned and invested nearly $960 billion from 2009 to 2018 including nearly $48 billion in 2018. However, we recognize the economic shift of the past few years—including a more normalized housing market, lower credit demand and stricter requirements for lending and credit—has put constraints on our overall results. We continue our ongoing commitment to lending and investing in low-and moderate-income communities including promoting economic progress in our communities by providing access to capital. And, we will look for ways to responsibly do that through our business and partnerships.

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