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Community Asset Transition (CAT) Fund

Supporting community ownership and affordability of property following civil unrest

Purpose and investments

The CAT Fund provides readily available funds to help buy commercial and residential properties affected by the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, and to help ensure ownership of those properties is transferred to existing businesses, residential tenants within the community, and community-based owners.

The fund achieves this purpose by helping community-based acquisition/development partners buy properties identified as being at risk of market conversion.

The fund consists of $3 million from Hennepin County to leverage $7 million from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and its philanthropic partners for an initial pool of $10 million. The county has also set aside an additional $3 million allocation contingent upon an additional $7 million investment from LISC and/or other funders. 

Key goals

  • Produce healing, ownership, and generational wealth for those who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Support the economic recovery and resiliency of businesses in identified districts
  • Avoid displacement of businesses and residents in identified districts
  • Create opportunities for community and cooperative ownership and alternative investment models
  • Engage artists, creatives, and arts-based organizations as partners in visioning and rebuilding
  • Support the creation and preservation of affordable housing and commercial space in and around identified districts
  • Create job opportunities for minority contractors through participation in project construction and rehabilitation

Timeline and locations

  • The fund supports a buy-and-hold strategy to give communities and local businesses the time and resources to create a transformative rebuild that reflects the goals of the community. The fund is envisioned to last up to 10 years.
  • Money is being designated for areas in or near the cultural districts impacted by civil unrest from May 26 to June 5, 2020, that are at risk of market conversion or business displacement.
  • See all district maps

 

map of CAT Fund activity 

Community partners

In partnership with community-based organizations, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) identifies properties at risk of market conversion and local business displacement. Recovery loans are made to community-based acquisition partners, in amounts determined by LISC and Hennepin County, to acquire, rehabilitate, and/or operate properties to ensure that community has direct involvement in recovery efforts. Partners include:

Acquisition/development: Land Bank Twin Cities, Seward Redesign, Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), City of Lakes Commercial Land Trust, and other CDCs

Creative placemaking: In Minneapolis: Lake Street Council, Cultural Wellness Center, West Broadway Business & Area Coalition (WBC), and Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI); In St. Paul: African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS), Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Center (ASANDC), Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), and Indigenous Roots

Financing: Hennepin County, Minneapolis Foundation, and other PRI and mission investors; aligned investors include Sunrise Banks (small NMTC loan pool) and the City of Minneapolis Commercial Property Development Fund

Contact 

Questions? Contact Ryan Kelley at ryan.kelley@hennepin.us