Building Great Urban Neighborhoods. Together.

New Markets Tax Credit Program Helps Address Community Need

November 17, 2016

Civic San Diego (CivicSD) is proud to provide new resources that continue addressing the need for reinvestment in targeted communities, in the absence of tax increment financing resulting from the statewide dissolution of redevelopment. An early success has been the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, managed by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (“CDFI Fund”).

Congress established the NMTC program in 2000 to drive investment in operating businesses and real estate projects in low-income communities. The program attracts investment capital to these communities by allowing corporations to receive a credit against their federal income taxes in exchange for making direct equity investments in Community Development Entitles (CDEs). The equity investments are then used to make loans with flexible rates and terms for high impact projects in low-income communities.

“Civic San Diego is always looking for new, innovative ways to bring capital investment into our urban communities that is not only going to help these communities grow but also make a difference in the quality of life for the people who live there,” said Civic San Diego Assistant Vice President, Michael Lengyel. “The New Markets Tax Credit program is an excellent example of successfully executing this goal. Every time these projects create a new full-time, living wage job or provide services to families in need, we are reminded of the importance of our work and the role Civic San Diego can play in helping our underserved neighborhoods flourish.” 

In 2012, CivicSD formed the Civic San Diego Economic Growth and Neighborhood Investment Fund (“Growth Fund”), a nonprofit subsidiary corporation to qualify and serve as a CDE for purposes of applying for annual NMTC allocations from the CDFI Fund. The Growth Fund had received four allocations of NMTCs totaling $133 million, of which nearly $78 million has been deployed into five transformative projects that have made a significant impact in San Diego communities as highlighted below.

Copley-Price Family YMCA

  • Provides subsidized memberships for low-income persons and subsidized childcare to children of low-income families for San Diego’s densest community with over 90,000 people living in a four square mile area
  • A community meeting room and demonstration kitchen help residents develop healthy living habits and build community

Family Health Centers’ Health Information Technology Education and Career Center

  • Provides a living wage or higher to 100 percent of full-time employees and offers a training curriculum in health information technology
  • Provides quality healthcare and supportive services to more than 1,000 low-income and medically underserved persons annually; regardless of ability to pay

Urban Corps of San Diego County

  • Provides workforce development, education, and support services to help economically marginalized young adults to overcome barriers to success
  • Provides an on-site charter school that annually offers an average of 200 low-income youth a second chance to earn their high school diplomas

Jackie Robinson Family YMCA

  • Provides a home-away-from-home for hundreds of families in the inner city neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego
  • Hosts several community events that attract thousands of visitors (Halloween at the Y – 2,500, Christmas with Character – 4,000, etc.) along with a TAKE FIVE Tickets for Kids Distribution Program that provides free admission to families to sporting and other big events

37ECB (Momentum Learning)

  • At-risk youth earn a high school diploma while also learning tangible skills like culinary arts and welding/fabrication that greatly expand their opportunity to transition directly into living wage jobs
  • The teachers and staff at 37ECB are committed to providing all students with the mental, psychological, and emotional support needed for them to reach their full potential

NMTC program benefits can be used by either a nonprofit or for-profit borrower, can be used for real estate development or the support of ongoing operations, and are recommended for larger capital projects of $8 million or more. Additionally, they must be vetted and recommended by an advisory board that is accountable to low-income communities in San Diego.

For additional information about qualifications and opportunities for funding through the NMTC program, Michael Lengyel, Assistant Vice President with Civic San Diego, at (619) 533-7158 or


CivicSD is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation created by the City of San Diego to engage in economic development, land use permitting and services, and project management services.

Last modified: May 24, 2018

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