Indiana Creates Charter School Facilities Loan Fund

Jun 27, 2012, 09:00 ET from IFF

Nonprofit CDFI Leader IFF Selected by State to Implement Fund

CHICAGO, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing that quality charter schools require quality facilities, the State of Indiana today announced the creation of a Charter School Facilities Loan Fund.  One of the nation's leading community development financial institutions (CDFIs), IFF, has been selected by the Indiana Department of Education to implement the program -- a revolving loan fund that will provide affordable and flexible loans to qualified Indiana charter schools for their facilities projects.

All charter schools across the state, from newly created start-up schools to established operators, are eligible to apply for financing through the Loan Fund, which was established by recent legislation authorizing the use of state funds to leverage private-sector monies for charter school facilities projects.

In support of that goal, the state awarded IFF $3.4 million to leverage into over $12 million in loans to support charter school facilities. Loans through the fund can range from $10,000 to $1.5 million and can be used for acquisition, renovation, new construction, and leasehold improvements.  IFF loans cover up to 95 percent of total project costs and will provide long-term commitments of up to 15 years, eliminating the burden and risks of balloon payment refinancing, with no appraisal requirements, fees, points or rate variances based on risk.

"IFF is honored to have been selected for this important opportunity to work with the Indiana Department of Education on strengthening Indiana charter schools with the kind of facilities the students who attend these schools deserve," said Joe Neri, CEO of IFF. "IFF brings to the table a long and successful history of working with quality charter schools in Indiana and across the Midwest—from the start-up phase to facilitating expansion to meet a growing demand of students. We are eager to put this experience to work as we implement the Loan Fund and bring much needed capital to Indiana charter schools."

Since 1997, IFF's loan products have helped more than 50 quality charter schools to create more than 22,000 student seats across Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin.  In Indiana, IFF has provided over $11 million in affordable financing to charter schools in Gary, Porter, South Bend, Indianapolis, Anderson, East Chicago, Columbus and Richmond.

"The Charter School Facilities Loan Fund has great potential to level the playing field for our charter schools when it comes to facilities funding," Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. "Having a well-respected, time-tested partner like IFF to implement these loans ensures this money is leveraged effectively to create positive outcomes for children in our quality charter schools."

IFF, and other CDFIs, marry government grants and tax credits with far more private resources to invest in underserved communities, addressing such essential areas as education, health care, housing, child care and healthy food financing.  

Midwest-wide, IFF's lending has leveraged over $1 billion to invest in child care and primary health care centers, supportive housing, charter schools, shelters and affordable housing—helping to provide child care for over 4,615 children, a quality school facility for 22,560 students, 2,544 units of affordable housing, 173,884 health care visits and 45,021 jobs.

IFF's strong financial performance and wide-reaching community impact has earned it the highest rating from the CDFI Assessment and Rating System (CARS).  This makes IFF one of only four CDFIs nationwide – and the only one in the Midwest – to earn CARS' highest rating of "1" for Financial Strength and Performance; "AAA" for Impact Performance; and a "Policy Plus" for leadership in policy changes supporting disadvantaged people and communities.

About IFF
One of America's leading nonprofit community development financial institutions (CDFIs), IFF strengthens nonprofits and their communities through lending and real estate consulting that helps these organizations plan, finance, and build facilities that are critical to their success.  Founded in 1988, IFF has total assets of more than $225 million and serves nonprofits working with low-income communities and special needs populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. To learn more about IFF, visit

Contacts: Marc Brailov, 312-596-5124
Kate Maher, 312-521-7385