One million dollars from the city’s tax increment finance reserves will sweeten a pot that’s designed to attract nationwide investment in local affordable housing projects.

Mayor John Hamilton and the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County announced in February that Bloomington had been designated a Community Development Finance Institution Friendly City. The title was meant to act as a signal flare, one that would identify the city as a place where national funding could join with local funding to support community-minded projects that might be too risky for traditional loans. The city’s $1 million joins with the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association’s $1 million to provide enough local public funding needed to leverage outside private investments up to $10 million.

Currently, the Community Foundation is sponsoring CDFI Friendly Bloomington. The plan is to eventually form a new nonprofit with an executive director, a board and an investment advisory committee to run CDFI Friendly Bloomington. That organization will evaluate projects in the community to pair with national and local funds so that CDFI Friendly Bloomington’s distribution of low-interest loans might do the most good.

“It takes both being able to know what’s happening in town and knowing what the CDFI landscape looks like, then connecting those points,” Alex Crowely, the city’s economic and sustainable development director, said.

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