Providing loans as a “hand up” is core to Habitat for Humanity Tucson‘s business model, and one of the reasons Habitat Tucson is an investor in the Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona (NPLF).
“The inability to obtain a traditional loan is the biggest problem for our home buyers, so Habitat Tucson makes the loans to them,” said T. VanHook, CEO of Habitat Tucson. Limited access to traditional loans is true for many nonprofits too, and NPLF fills that gap.
Habitat Tucson is one of six nonprofit investors in the Nonprofit Loan Fund. Each investor, Habitat Tucson included, sees the value in helping the entire nonprofit sector improve its financial sustainability, a key mission of NPLF. In addition, they appreciate the return of 2% per annum they earn on funds of $25,000 to $250,000 lent to NPLF for a period of one to 10 years.
Habitat Tucson was one of NPLF’s first investors, feeling it was important to support NPLF’s mission because their homebuyers don’t just live in houses, they live in communities. According to VanHook, “We operate as part of the whole community, so we invest in our mission of ending poverty by also investing in nonprofits that make the community a better place for our homebuyers and for everyone else too.”
NPLF has lent more than $700,000 to a variety of nonprofits to bridge periods when cash flow is low, or to help fund new programs or support infrastructure. In addition to the loan, NPLF board and staff spend significant time with borrowers helping them think strategically about their financial decision making in order to secure long-term sustainability.
Habitat for Humanity Tucson: Building Homes, Communities & Hope
By the end of June 2016, Habitat Tucson will welcome 21 new homeowners and will have rehabilitated 80 existing homes over the fiscal year. Habitat Tucson also runs the HabiStore, a resale store for building materials, furniture and appliances. Store profits are re-invested in Habitat Tucson.
“We have a lot of ingenuity in this community,” says VanHook. “NPLF’s work is phenomenal and we’re happy to see the progress of nonprofit organizations that have received NPLF loans.”