LIIF to Invest $50 Million in Green Buildings and Launch $3 Million Green Opportunity Fund

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The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a national community development financial institution that has provided financing to organizations serving low income people for over 25 years, is committing $50 million to green buildings in low income communities over the next three years.

As part of this commitment, LIIF is launching the $3 million Green Opportunity Fund (GO Fund) in the Los Angeles area. This is the first fund dedicated to financing energy efficiency retrofits and installations for community facilities, such as charter schools, child care centers, health care clinics and senior centers. In addition to the GO Fund, LIIF’s $50 million will be invested in LEED certified building development, transit oriented development (TOD) projects and greener child care centers in underserved communities across California and the New York area.

“Greener facilities benefit people’s health, the environment and an organization’s bottom line. LIIF’s $50 million investment in green development ensures that low income people see these benefits in their everyday lives,” says LIIF President and CEO Nancy O. Andrews. “The GO Fund marks the start of a new chapter for LIIF and provides a financing solution that wasn’t possible before. We hope to bring more public and private partners to the table with this initiative to create new opportunities for underserved communities.”

One of the GO Fund’s earliest partners is the MetLife Foundation, which provided seed funding for the initiative. “The GO Fund is an exciting new effort that advances the goals we share with LIIF – building healthy communities and providing economic opportunity for low income people,” says Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation.

The GO Fund is a unique financing solution that brings cost savings and environmental and social benefits to low income communities. Community facilities provide essential services and jobs in distressed neighborhoods, but developers often lack the financing and information to incorporate green elements in these facilities. LIIF’s initiative addresses this problem and allows low income communities to fully participate in the green movement. The GO Fund, which will fund up to 15 projects in the Los Angeles area, will provide energy audits, technical assistance and financing packages to cover the up-front costs of energy efficiency retrofits. The fund could reduce annual energy consumption and costs for community facilities by as much as 25%. LIIF will pilot the GO Fund in Los Angeles and eventually expand its reach to the other markets it serves – Northern California and the New York area.

The GO Fund is LIIF’s newest tool to ensure every community sees the benefits of greener, healthier environments. Through its California Preschool Energy Efficiency Program (CPEEP), LIIF has improved the energy efficiency of 850 early childhood education centers serving over 53,000 children statewide. CPEEP is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. CPEEP facilities save approximately 30% on utility costs and reduced overall energy usage by 60%. In addition, LIIF provides financing for green development, such as TOD projects and LEED certified buildings in underserved neighborhoods.