Capital Region

Community Loan Fund offers chance to shape neighborhoods with investments


ALBANY — A new investment trust is designed to offer economically distressed communities in the Capital Region a chance to gain a small ownership share in commercial real estate in their neighborhoods.

The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region on Monday announced the launch of the Capital Region Community Investment Trust, a partnership between the Loan Fund and the Community Economic Development Clinic at the Albany Law School.

The CIT works like this:

Residents who live in ZIP codes that will be designated can take a free financial education program, “From Owing to Owning.”

They buy shares in the CIT for $10 to $100 a month. Over time, they build equity in a local property and earn a minimum 2% annual dividend; as the investment property is paid off, the dividend increases.

They can decide what type of business their neighborhood needs and then attempt to attract it. This can benefit the community and business alike, as the community gets the type of business it needs and the business gets a ready market for its goods or services.

The CIT has hired its first employee, Tatiana Melendez, who will serve as Community Investment Trust coordinator and promote the program to Albany residents.

The partnership relies on assistance from the University at Albany Geographic Information Systems program and the Siena Project Incubator at Siena College.

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