December 2006

Catholic Health Initiatives Announces New and Renewed Direct Community Investments

Catholic Health Initiatives has recently approved or renewed three loans through its Direct Community Investment Program. The program provides no- or low-interest loans to community organizations that provide disadvantaged populations in the U.S. and abroad with access to health care, housing, food and employment. The program has committed $30 million in loans, and seeks to lend a total of two percent of the assets of Catholic Health Initiatives’ Operating Investment program, or $83 million. The three most recent loans: SosteNica Serves Nicaragua Loan Amount: $150,000 SosteNica, a loan fund based in Nicaragua, focuses on sustainable community development. Its loan programs are designed to strengthen communities while ensuring that their culture and way of life are preserved. SosteNica lends to the productive poor of Nicaragua, including small farmers and microenterprises, which do not typically have access to capital. Typical borrowers include small corner grocery store owners, tortilla makers, leather tanners and farmers. The loan represents the renewal of a $50,000 loan made in 2000 and an additional investment of $100,000. Oikocredit USA Serves low-income individuals in Asia, Africa and Latin America Loan Amount: $500,000 Oikocredit is an international community development financial institution based in the Netherlands, with a fundraising subsidiary in the U.S. The objective of Oikocredit is to mobilize resources to raise the standard of living in developing countries throughout the world. Its mission is to provide credit to people who are poor in Asia, Africa and Latin America by lending money to cooperatives and microcredit banks. Oikocredit has made loans to almost 500 cooperatives and microfinance institutions in 67 countries. Stadium Place Baltimore, Md. Loan Amount: $500,000 Stadium Place is a 400-unit development in Baltimore that provides affordable housing with quality health care to more than 500 senior residents, along with recreation, day care and wellness programs for the entire urban community through a full-service YMCA. Stadium Place serves the needs of a racially and economically diverse community and is a compassionate response to the lack of affordable housing and health care for seniors, as well as the need for youth development in the urban environment. For more information about applying for Direct Community Investment Program loans, click on Direct Community Investment.