The Non-Profit SELF organization continues to scale throughout the Sunshine State
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) a $124,957 grant yesterday to expand its operations into more low-wealth and working class communities throughout the Sunshine State.
As a mission-driven lender, SELF has been highly successful at raising millions of dollars of low-cost loan capital from faith-based organizations, banks, impact investors, and worldwide crowdfunding, and then prudently deploying these funds through microloans to help underserved and underbanked homeowners finance assorted home renovations.
The CDFI Fund grant will help SELF leverage more private loan capital and enable further programmatic expansion and triple bottom line impacts in 2018. SELF’s typical home renovation loan is about $10,000 and it includes some combination of new roofs and repairs, air conditioners, windows, doors, hurricane shutters, insulation, and a wide variety of solar products.
SELF finances projects from $1,000-$30,000, with a focus on energy efficiency, solar technologies, and wind resilience. SELF has also developed special rates and programs for veterans, women, seniors, people with disabilities, and homeowners with poor credit. SELF’s lending standards are less stringent than traditional banks and their interest rates are below market rate. The non-profit community lending organization was originally created in St. Lucie County in 2010, as an innovative model for local clean energy financing programs, and has since raised over $10 million and expanded its lending activities into 63 jurisdictions in Florida.
‘SELF’s Chief Financial Officer, Duanne Andrade, said, “The grant announcement was perfect timing in light of the ravaging effects of Hurricane Irma all across the state and the resulting need for more home renovation loans in underserved communities.” She added, “SELF has secured additional loan capital this past week from several existing investors to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Florida.”
To fully appreciate SELF’s transformative work, you need look no further than their existing clients, such as Fort Pierce homeowner, Mrs. Patricia Henderson, who said, “If I had not gotten my roof repaired before Hurricane Irma, I may not have had a roof left afterwards and the rain damage would have been catastrophic.” She added, “I cannot thank SELF enough for approving my roof loan earlier this year.”
SELF is a 501(c)(3) and certified statewide as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To date, SELF has financed nearly 700 home renovation projects, totaling $5.7 million, with more than half of the lending activity in St. Lucie County. SELF has now scaled from the Treasure Coast region to Central Florida and plans to open up a new satellite office on the west coast next year.
Official announcement from the CDFI FUND: CDFI FUND Award Book 2017