Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Legacy Redevelopment Corporation

Founded in 2003, Legacy Redevelopment Corporation is the only CDFI focused on housing and commercial real estate in Milwaukee's central city. Its loans are credited with financing over 230,000 square feet of new or renovated space for nonprofit and socially oriented businesses, and the creation or renovation of over 100 affordable housing units. Read more about Legacy Redevelopment Corporation...

Ways to Work

Based in Milwaukee, Ways to Work provides low-interest loans and financial education to working families with challenging credit histories through its network of 44 sites located across 19 states. Since its establishment in 1994, the CDFI has made about $78 million in affordable loans to nearly 34,500 families. Read more about Ways to Work...

Alliant Credit Union

Established in 1935 by a small group of United Airlines employees, Alliant now serves employees and members of about 250 diverse organizations and residents of 20 Chicago neighborhoods.  With over 335,000 members nationwide and over $9.3 billion in assets, Alliant ranks as the 8th largest credit union in the nation.  Over a decade ago, Alliant launched a Civic Affairs Program to formalize and emphasize its commitment to the community.  Through one initiative catalyzed by the program, Alliant employees have been teaching financial literacy classes to students in Chicago area public schools since 2005.

North Side Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1974 by a small group of women who believed all people should have equal access to capital, North Side Federal Credit Union aims to provide affordable banking services and expand the availability of alternative financial resources.  North Side has a “social change” philosophy based on the notion that alternative resources can lead to a more economically just community and greater financial stability for its membership.  The credit union currently holds over $4 million in deposit accounts and has disbursed more than $45 million in loans since its inception.

Community Investment Corporation

The Community Investment Corporation (CIC) provides loans for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable rental housing in the Chicago metropolitan area.  To do so, it manages a $225 million loan pool, which includes funds from 40 investor banks that have made multiyear commitments to CIC.  Since 1984, CIC has made over 2,000 loans totaling $1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of more than 55,000 units that provide affordable housing for upwards of 130,000 people.


IFF, formerly known as the Illinois Facilities Fund, provides loans and real estate consulting to nonprofits based in the Midwest, with a particular focus on those that serve low-income communities and special needs populations. It is the largest nonprofit CDFI in the Midwest and one of only a few nationally to earn the CDFI Asssesement and Rating System (CARS) AAA+1 rating. Established in 1988, IFF now has assets of more than $498 million.  In 2015, its loan program made 117 loans totaling over $95.5 million—resulting in the creation or maintenance of 3,713 jobs.

Allies for Community Business

Allies for Community Business (formerly Accion Chicago) believes that entrepreneurs from any background can start and grow businesses that create generational wealth for their families and communities. Allies for Community Business (A4CB) provide capital, coaching, and collaboration services that entrepreneurs can use to grow businesses in their communities. A4CB offers loans between $500 and $100,000 to early, emerging, and established businesses. 

Read more about Allies for Community Business...

CDFI Certification: A Building Block for Credit Union Growth

Terry Ratigan

As CDFI (community development financial institution)-certified credit unions have grown more than 40 percent in the last six years, their capacity to serve low-income and underserved areas has grown accordingly. This new white paper from the Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the only national intermediary exclusively devoted to community development credit unions, describes community development credit union performance in 2013 and outlines the process and advantages of CDFI certification. 

Cincinnati Development Fund

The Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) is a nonprofit lending institution focused on financing the development of affordable housing and community revitalization projects in the Greater Cincinnati area. Since its establishment in 1988, CDF has made more than $250 million in loans, impacting more than $1 billion in economic development work and creating more than 3,500 housing units. Read more about Cincinnati Development Fund...

Whom Do Black-Owned Banks Serve?

Russell D. Kashian, Richard McGregory and Derrek Grunfelder McCrank
Communities and Banking