The OICF Board has voted to make a $150,000 recoverable grant to the Island Loan Fund, a program under OPAL Community Land Trust’s umbrella. This grant is in keeping with OICF’s current focus on affordable housing, as the Island Loan Fund provides real estate loans and technical assistance to Orcas Islanders who need a mortgage loan and are creditworthy, but are not yet eligible for a bank loan.

OICF opted for a 7-year term, at which point the Board can either reinvest or call for the funds. One goal of this impact investment is to help the island community retain its economic diversity. Borrowers from the fund are generally working island families who don’t yet meet the standards required by a bank to buy a home or to borrow to make modifications to their existing home. The Island Loan funding acts as a bridge to help the borrowers become qualified for a traditional bank loan.

The Island Loan Fund was launched in part with seed funding from OICF’s annual grant program, through which it received three grants to support all the due diligence required for proper set up. The Loan Fund’s policies and procedures comply with state and federal guidelines for offering private securities and making consumer loans. The program is modeled after several community development loan funds throughout the United States that have become an important means for concerned investors to realize both a financial and a social return on their capital by investing in their local communities. OICF is committed to finding creative solutions to community issues.  The Island Loan fund certainly meets that standard. You can read more about the fund here.

Opportunities to support good programs abound!  March 31 is the Spring Brunch at the Senior Center, with Christina Orchid stirring the pot. And on April 1 & 2 there are benefit concerts for the Recovery in Community project at the Orcas Center (more info here). Hope to see you one of at these great events!

Have a lovely weekend-