Since 2012, Civic Communities has invested $178 million into economically challenged neighborhoods, furthering the agency’s mission to boost quality of life for San Diego’s underserved residents.
This has been done through the use of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs), a federal program that deploys tax credits for projects that create quality jobs, or provide programs or services in disadvantaged communities. Projects must be located in or directly benefit a community within selected areas.
Congress launched the New Markets Tax Credit program in 2000 with hopes of driving business and real estate investment in disadvantaged communities. Civic is qualified to receive and grant these federal tax credits because in 2012 it established Civic Community Partners, which earned its certification as a Community Development Entity (CDE) — one of the main requirements to participate in the program.
“Over the past five years, Civic has done an exceptional job of securing and deploying these tax credits,” explained Civic President & CEO Andrew Phillips. “Because of our excellent track record, we’ve been able to secure more tax credits than most local agencies.” “We allocate these tax credits to attract investments in order to create high-impact projects in low-income communities,” he added.
Highlights of the program’s success are:
Living Rooms at the Border by Casa Familiar is adaptive re-use of the Mount Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro. The new space includes a theatre, the UCSD Border Community Station, the “El K-Fe” Youth Barista training program, and 10 affordable rental housing units. Civic Community Partners provided $9.325M in NMTCs for the development.
YMCA Supportive Housing in the City of Escondido is a 25-unit apartment complex to expand the YMCAs existing Transitional Housing & Youth Development program and streamline the YMCAs efforts aimed to end youth homelessness. A total of $6.7M was used for the acquisition and rehabilitation of this project.
San Diego County Office of Education’s Momentum Learning School is home to an innovative educational campus, which serves disadvantaged youths who are often homeless, teen mothers, or involved in the criminal justice system. In addition to a more traditional classroom program the school also offers independent study alternatives including a barista program, culinary arts, and an entrepreneur program. $7.1M in NMTCs were used to renovate this facility.
Jackie Robinson Family YMCA serves the severely distressed Southeastern neighborhood of San Diego. Over 30% of the 6,876 residents living within a half-mile radius of the project live below the poverty line. This facility provides the YMCA’s Before and After School, Character Builders, and Prime Time programs, giving neighborhood youth of all ages a physically and emotionally safe environment. A total of $23M in NMTCs were used to help build this facility.
Urban Corps of San Diego County increased services to their 200 charter school students; produced an 87% graduation rate; helped 69% of graduates find employment and 22% enroll in college. Additionally, Urban Corps helps support the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan through their environmental services program, which trains young adults to install trees and maintains urban habitat within throughout San Diego. Urban Corps leveraged $8M in NMTCs to increase services.
Family Health Centers of San Diego a new 34,300 square-foot Health, Information Technology, and Education Center (HITEC) facility located in Oak Park that houses an approximately 3,000 square foot community health clinic and also a health information technology education and training center. $16.5M in NMTCs were used for this project.
Copley-Price Family YMCA a new, state-of-the-art facility located in City Heights at Fairmount and El Cajon Boulevard. The 53,000 square-foot facility features an aquatics center, fitness center, group exercise studios, teen center, gymnasium, soccer arena, computer lab, child-care center, demonstration kitchen and a community meeting room. $23M in NMTCs were used for this project.
There is more to come. Civic has secured an allocation of $50M, bringing the total allocation to $213 million, and has already invested $15 million with Family Health Centers and committed more than $25 million to Access Youth Academy and San Ysidro Health.
“This new award will allow us to create jobs, deliver heath care, provide supportive services and offer training programs for San Diego residents who have the greatest needs,” explained Phillips.
Civic is actively working to find more qualifying projects to receive this type of investment. In order to qualify, a project must be located in, or directly benefit, an economically challenged community by creating quality jobs, or providing goods or services to underserved residents.
To present Civic with a potential project, or to learn more about how the program works, please contact Joanna Whitley Broussard and email@example.com.