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Affordable housing loan fund launches in Durham

Sep 19, 2019

DURHAM, NC - Beginning this week, affordable housing developers will be able to seek funds to build affordable multifamily and single-family housing in Durham thanks to the launch of a new loan fund.

On Monday, September 16, the City of Durham, Duke University, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Self-Help, and SunTrust jointly announced the launch of the Durham Affordable Housing Loan Fund (DAHLF), which seeks to aid affordable housing developers in addressing the critical shortage of affordable multifamily and single-family housing in the Bull City. 

Durham faces a number of challenges rectifying the severe shortage of affordable housing in the city. One of these is that often nonprofits, the housing authority, and other groups best poised to tackle the issue do not have access to funds on the timeline necessary to compete against for-profit real estate developers – developers that have little or no incentive to build homes affordable to low- to moderate income families.

DAHLF, with initial funding of $10 million, levels the playing field. “Loan products currently available in the market have too often left affordable housing developers unable to compete with market-rate developers,” said City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel, “DAHLF loans will change this by fully funding acquisitions, providing funds on a quicker timeline, and offering below-market interest rate loans with interest-only payments.”

“Another important aspect of DAHLF,” said SunTrust’s Triangle East Region President Chris Bell, “is that the loans will not only allow affordable housing developers to compete on acquisition, but will give them the flexibility to acquire and hold a prospective affordable housing property while putting together a long-term plan for creating and preserving affordable housing. This will be a game-changer for nonprofits in this highly competitive market.”  

Two types of loans are available through DAHLF. Change Maker loans, for multifamily developments, provide a low fixed-rate, interest-only loan of up to $2.5 million, and up to 100% loan-to-value. Mixed-use, mixed-income, and scattered site single-family projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Hope Builder loans, for single-family developments of four or fewer units, also offer a low fixed-rate, interest-only lines of credit for up to $1 million. Both loan products are for projects that will serve households making less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for rental units or less than 80% of AMI for for-sale units.

“We knew when we first began talking about the formation of DAHLF that we would offer products that would attack the affordable housing problem from both sides: renting and owning. The problem is too big and the needs of those in our community are too diverse to focus solely on one or the other,” said, Duke University’s Vice President for Durham Affairs, Stelfanie Williams.

The founders of DAHLF intend to grow the size of the Fund over the next few years. “DAHLF has already received generous support from its initial funders and we expect, as the need for and success of these loans are demonstrated in Durham, that interest in and support of DAHLF will only continue to grow,” said Self-Help Executive Vice President Tucker Bartlett. “We are happy with our first close and hope to have a second round of funding in 2020 that will further the Fund’s ability to help those creating and preserving affordable housing in Durham.”

The multifamily loans will be administered by Self-Help and the single-family loans by the North Carolina Community Development Initiative. “For over 25 years, the Initiative has been part of leading the statewide and local collaborations that drive change and propel communities forward to economic opportunities. The DAHLF is another great example of an innovative solution to a long-standing problem that will provide the capital to finance significant, transformative change for our local community. We are eager and excited to continue our efforts to make sure everyone has the opportunity for homeownership through this new fund,” said The Initiative’s CEO Tara Kenchen. 

There will be an information session on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. at 302 West Main Street in Durham for affordable housing developers and others interested in DAHLF to learn more about the Fund and the loan products. Website with further details can also be found here:

For more information on Change Maker loans, contact JJ Froehlich at or 919-794-6792. For details on Hope Builder loans, contact Don Liles at or 919-835-6002.



For More Information, Contact: 

Jenny Shields, Director of Media Relations, Self-Help Credit Union

Direct Line: 919-794-6798 | Cell: 919-695-2037


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About Self-Help

Self-Help is a leading national community development financial institution headquartered in Durham, NC. Since 1980, Self-Help has provided over $8.5 billion in financing to 150,000 families, individuals and businesses. It helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Through its credit union network, Self-Help serves over 150,000 people in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The nonprofit Center for Community Self-Help is the umbrella organization for the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations, which includes Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending.