Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Community Development Banking (CDB) announced news on Thursday (Feb. 15) that 2017 was a record year for the firm. The CDB provided $4.53 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions.
In a press release, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking said that last year, it deployed $3.04 billion in debt commitments and $1.49 billion in new equity investments. Those funds were designed “to help build strong and healthy communities by financing affordable housing, charter schools, healthcare and economic development across the United States,” the CDB said.
“Making a significant impact in the community is an important consideration in the projects we finance,” Maria Barry, Community Development Banking national executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in the press release. “In addition, we invest in programs and services that assist residents, contributing to the long-term sustainability of a community. We’ve seen the significant benefits they achieve, including increased high school graduation rates, employment and quality of health, which help build strong and healthy communities.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Community Development Banking said that as the need for affordable housing and services continues to grow, it remains focused on providing safe housing options and promoting sustainability, with an emphasis on employment opportunities. Much of that effort, the CDB said in the press release, is driven by creating affordable housing for individuals, families, seniors, students, veterans, the formerly homeless, those with special needs and other at-risk groups.
In 2017, the developments the CDB financed produced more than 13,500 housing units, of which 12,000 were affordable, it noted in the release. The CDB noted that in 2017, it hit another milestone by exceeding $1 billion in charter school financing since 2000. That financing, the CBD said, impacted more than 80 schools, providing educational opportunities for more than 25,000 students.