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Finance and Chill? Big Tech Flirts with Community Development for the First Time

Corporate America has traditionally been content to sit out of conversations about hot-button issues.

…Matt Schwartz, president of the California Housing Partnership, thinks the companies should be using their flexibility to offer better terms.

“The tech money going into CDFIs is lowering interest rates somewhat and it is making the loan terms a little more flexible,” he says. “But it is not substantially moving any needle toward dramatically increasing production or preservation of the affordable housing supply. … The impact of lower-interest rates is pretty minimal—maybe on the scale of a few hundreds of thousands of dollars of interest savings per project.”

Schwartz continues, “I hope they’re going to move away from this hard and fast requirement to repay all principal [and] interest on an amortized monthly basis. If they can move past that to defer payment of at least principal to the end of a 20-year term, then they’re starting to add significant value.”…