EPISODE 17 – OPPORTUNITY ZONES: GETTING CDFIs IN THE GAME

Opportunity zones have been a hot topic in the impact finance industry since their announcement, but do CDFIs and other impact lenders have a role to play?  Michael Swack and Charles Tansey think so.  They join us on this episode to discuss their recent white paper, “The Potential Role for CDFIs in Opportunity Zones,” which was published by the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy with the support of Enterprise Community Investment.  In a discussion that will be of interest to any practitioner evaluating how to use the opportunity zones program for social good, Michael and Charles encourage CDFIs to identify partners with access to equity investors, build pipeline, lend into opportunity zone projects, and consider creative ways to get in the game.

About Our Guests:

Charles Tansey, a career Senior Executive Service official, was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration in 2013, and appointed Senior Fellow at the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy in 2015. In 2016, Mr. Tansey developed the SMSST program for stress-testing non-depository CDFIs. The program has been used for the USDA’s Community Facilities Relending program for assessing higher risk applicants.

Michael Swack is a professor at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire where he directs the Center for Impact Finance. Dr. Swack has published in the areas of economic development, development finance, community investment and mission related investment. Recently, he published a book, co-written with Charels Tansey, entitled Capital Markets, CDFIs and Organizational Credit Risk.

Resources Related to this Episode

Download the Paper on the Carsey School of Public Policy’s Website: https://scholars.unh.edu/carsey/362/

LISC Opportunity Zones Explainer: http://www.lisc.org/our-resources/resource/opportunity-zones-101

Enterprise Community Partners tool to find Opportunity Zones: https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/opportunity360/opportunity-zone-eligibility-tool

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