In 1989, the City of Des Moines and Polk County co-sponsored a study by Stockard & Engler, a consulting firm, to examine local cities’ housing stock, neighborhood conditions and service delivery systems. The results were used to develop a program, i.e., the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, to provide guidance on revitalizing key neighborhoods. Another result of the study was the determination that an organization should be established to provide lending to neighborhoods that needed revitalizing, and thus, NFC was created. NFC serves neighborhoods that are selected by the City Council and County Board of Supervisors with input from the City’s Community Development Department and the Neighborhood Revitalization Board (NRB). NFC's lending area is approximately 2/3 of the City of Des Moines, comprised of the green and orange areas on NFC's lending map. The following neighbohroods are currently working in the City's Neighborhood Revitalization Program: Capitol East, Capitol Park, Douglas Acres, Drake, Lower Beaver, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Merle Hay, River Bend, Sheridan Gardens and Woodland Heights . A number of other neighborhoods have been served in the past, and most are still eligible for NFC financing.
NFC was formed as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation on May 4, 1990. The organization received its State of Iowa Mortgage Banker/Mortgage Broker License on December 11, 1990. In April 1991, NFC made its first mortgage loan.
Since 1991, NFC has originated over $222,000,000 in loans and grants that have assisted more than 4,000 housing units in 27 designated neighborhoods in both Des Moines and West Des Moines, as well as in low to moderate income areas of the cities.
NFC receives $800,000--$1,000,000 from the City and County annually through a 28E agreement. These payments are funded through general obligation bonds. NFC uses these funds for forgivable loans that are used for home improvements, closing-cost assistance, loan guarantees and construction loans. The city and county directly benefit from NFC’s use of these funds, as the property values of homes that NFC has financed often increase dramatically. To effectively leverage loan funds, NFC has entered into master loan participation agreements, currently with 12 area financial institutions and Fannie Mae, to sell loan participations made under NFC’s various programs.
On July 17, 2000, the U.S. Department of Treasury certified NFC as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). The CDFI Fund granted NFC $42,550 in technical assistance to assist with a business plan that would expand its mission to include commercial real estate redevelopment within NFC’s lending area, and to help raise capital to fund this new lending. NFC completed the new business plan and successfully raised $3.25 million in new equity-equivalent capital from local financial institutions. In January 2003, NFC received $2.5 million, comprised of a $1.5 million grant and $1 million loan, from the CDFI Fund to match the $3.25 million in local capital that NFC raised.
On June 20, 2003, NFC became a charter member of Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporations’ NeighborWorks® network. Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation is a non-profit, public corporation chartered by the United States Congress that is charged with promoting reinvestment in older neighborhoods by working with local financial institutions, the community, residents and local governments. NRC membership will continue to strengthen NFC through training programs, and administrative and program support.
NFC’s board is comprised of a strong balance of community leaders: two city representatives, two county representatives, one NRB representative, one non-profit representative, six financial institution representatives and three neighborhood representatives. The variety of knowledgeable perspectives that these professionals bring to NFC helps ensure the organization continues to follow its mission, while remaining financially sound.