Capital One® helps improve the communities in which we live and work. We finance the creation and rehabilitation of safe, affordable housing for low-income and special-needs populations. We also seek to develop, enhance and strengthen low-income neighborhoods by financing projects that support community stabilization and revitalization efforts. In addition, we have a very strong commitment to supporting small businesses.
Providing safe, secure, and affordable housing is the foundation for building strong communities. We've increased our annual financing of affordable housing from $50 million to $570 million over the several years since we acquired Hibernia Bank and North Fork Bank. Our newly developed Community Development Finance team extended more than $570 million in 2008 for the development of affordable housing, an increase of 73% from 2007. This team focuses on the development of affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Our Multifamily Housing Team also finances affordable housing and extended $181 million in 2008, an increase of $69 million from 2007.
Small Business Development
Capital One wants to help preserve and strengthen communities by supporting small business development and job creation. We regularly host and deliver community-based workshops on topics that are critical to the success of small business owners.
- In Texas, we partner with Accion Texas and SCORE; both nationally-known organizations that engage in supporting small businesses.
- In New Orleans, we have partnered with Delgado Community College, the largest community college in Louisiana, to offer a 10-course series entitled The Successful Business Practices for Entrepreneurs Seminar Series.
- In the New York/New Jersey market, we have developed the Capital One Bank Small Business Basics curriculum and delivered it in connection with numerous nonprofits. In 2008 in the NY metro area, we held nearly 75 seminars attended by nearly 1500 small businesses.
- Through our $econd Look program, Capital One refers declined small business applicants to non-profit partners that provide technical assistance and loans to pre-bankable businesses. Almost a dozen non-profits, such as ACCION, have helped over 500 businesses through this referral program.
- Capital One also has a Community Development Corporation (CDC) that is dedicated to community development lending which includes providing small loans to these nonprofits to support their lending activities.
Community Stabilization and Revitalization
Capital One seeks out and finances other activities that serve to stabilize or revitalize lower-income neighborhoods in our local communities. For example, Capital One:
- Invested in Walnut Square, an apartment complex located in eastern New Orleans, LA, which suffered substantial damage from Hurricane Katrina and was demolished in 2006. Through an equity investment in Low Income Housing Tax credits, Capital One invested in rebuilding the 209 affordable-housing units. In addition to providing much needed housing, this rebuilding project brought jobs and other businesses back to the area.
- Worked with our nonprofit partner, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation in Brooklyn, NY, to provide the construction loan for the development of Glenmore Grove, a 12-unit "green" condo development that will offer affordable homeownership.