Pounds: Idea in limboWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
Not quite a year ago, Toledo City Councilman Adam Martinez initiated a great idea.
Martinez was working on an idea to alter how Section 108 loans are handled in Toledo. According to a news story reported by Toledo Free Press on Feb. 15 of last year, he “organized meetings with for-profit and nonprofit executives discussing such goals as a $100 million revolving loan fund.”
Section 108 loans must be approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as an advance on future Community Development Block Grants only available to formula cities like Toledo. In Martinez’s plan, a 108 loan, instead of being used for a single project, could be used for several projects through bonds. This could be achieved by allowing the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority to leverage the nearly $20 million received annually and increase it to a $100 million revolving loan fund.
Martinez reported he was working with representatives from Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods and Department of Economic Development, LISC, ABLE, LCIC, LMHA, several community development corporations and Councilman Rob Ludeman, among others.
According to our initial report, “Martinez said in addition to creating a larger pool of available dollars, underwriting criteria would be established. Bonding, personal guarantees, a letter of commitment, a 5 to 10 percent cash equity requirement and a yet-to-be-determined debt coverage ratio have been discussed.”
We strongly endorsed the exploration of this plan and hope it has not been forgotten. Given the recent news about the Councilman D. Michael Collins-led investigation into the Department of Neighborhoods, this is a particularly timely issue.
We are told the idea is still alive, just moving slowly. It should be a priority as the city seeks ways to bring development to its neighborhoods.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at tpounds@
Tags: ABLE, Adam Martinez, City of Toledo, LCIC, LISC, LMHA, Publisher's Statement, Rob Ludeman, Section 18 Loans, Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods and Department of Economic Development, Tom Pounds, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development