They are an impact driven community development financial institution (CDFI) based in Washington D.C. focused on promoting equity and opportunity by providing increased access to capital and affordable housing in underserved communities with the goal of ensuring the long-term well-being of residents. As a non-profit holding company, they do this through their loan fund and in partnership with their affiliate, City First Bank, through the financing of housing, community facilities, small businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, through their subsidiary, City First Homes, they work to create and preserve permanently affordable housing, including helping to guide efforts to establish a community land trust focused initially in areas East of the River. Since 1996, the City First family of companies has channeled over $1 billion in capital to communities where it is needed the most.
They evaluate projects not only based on their financial viability but also based on the impact they can have to create safe and affordable housing, grow small businesses, increase access to community facilities for the arts, education, and other social services, and to support sustainable living through green energy. The projects they invest in are often overlooked by large, traditional banks because they do not meet rigid financing requirements. In many cases, these projects just need creative financing and a lot of patience to make the deal work. That is where City First Enterprises (CFE) comes in.