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World/BRIDGE Initiative
USA

Keywords: Economic Development
Poverty Eradication

Background

The World/BRIDGE initiative addresses the acute shortage of capital available for investment, particularly by non-profits and NGOs, in poverty-stricken areas. It directly challenges the widely held perceptions of lenders and investors that such investments are characterized by extreme risk and therefore, must be relegated to the realm of token charitable donations rather than sound, full-scale business investments.


Narrative

The innovation embodied in the World/BRIDGE initiative is the successful inclusion of public pension fund financing for affordable housing for low- and very low-income households. Prior to this $340 million dollar initiative, pension funds had regarded loans and investments in low-income areas as being "too risky" to meet prudent fiduciary standards. Now, as a result of the initiative, two of the United States' largest pensions agreed for the first time to invest in construction loans for non-profit affordable housing, much of it in inner-city, depressed, minority neighborhoods.


Impact

  • A $340 million dollar initiative.
  • Linked investments have totaled close to $150 million in 3 years.
  • 1,000 people are moving into 400 new homes.
  • More than 200 new jobs have been created and it is expected that 600 more positions will be created.
  • 600 new homes are being built or are about to begin construction.
  • 4,000 homes are programmed for the next phase of construction.

Sustainability

The commitment of pensions, with their enormous potential for world-wide investment, represent a vast new source of prudent and productive capital, first starting in California and possibly moving beyond to national and/or global endeavors. Since the conception of the program in early 1993, linked investments, both direct and indirect, have totaled close to $150 million.


Contact

    BRIDGE Housing Corporation
    1 Hawthorne Street
    San Francisco
    California
    USA
    94105
    415-989-1111

Sponsor

    BRIDGE Housing Corporation
    Carol J. Galante
    1 Hawthorne Street
    San Francisco
    California
    USA
    94105
    415-989-1111

Partners

    World Savings and Loan Association
    Herbert Sandler
    1901 Harrison Street
    Oakland
    California
    USA
    94612
    510-446-3410


    Donald Terner
    1 Hawthorne Street
    San Francisco
    California
    U.S.A.
    94105
    415-989-1111

    Alan Stein
    1 Hawthorne Street
    San Francisco
    California
    U.S.A.
    94105
    415-989-1111


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