Fall 2018 Newsletter

Message From Joel Millar

As the new President of Impact Capital, I am honored and privileged to work with the exceptional staff and supportive board as we navigate through this transition together. In my first few weeks, I have been thrilled to meet many extraordinary community development industry professionals who are as passionate as I am about affecting positive change in our world and improving the lives of others.

I look forward to continuing the great work that Impact Capital does in the Pacific Northwest, as well as developing new relationships and initiatives to enhance our already powerful impact within our community.

Thank You, Sinsinawa Dominicans

Image Credit: The Sinsinawa Dominicans

This summer, we gained a new funding partner: The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. Their loan helps us provide community development financing for affordable housing and community facilities benefiting low- and moderate-income communities.

Groundbreaking and Awards

In June, Kulshan Community Land Trust, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County, broke ground on the Telegraph Road Townhomes in Bellingham. The homes will be built by Habitat for Humanity as well as the future homeowners, who will put in sweat equity by working to construct their respective houses. There will be eight townhomes built at a time, and the first group is expected to be completed in early 2019.
Image credit: Rachel Mokry


Then recently, TWO of our community partners’ projects were presented with the Puget Sound Regional Council Vision 2040 award:
The Low Income Housing Institute‘s mixed-use housing development conjoined with the University District Food BankThe Marion West.
Image Credit: Michael Walmsley
Downtown Emergency Service Center’s permanent supportive housing development in Rainier Valley, The Estelle.
Image Credit: Rachel Mokry

Housing Washington 2018

Finally, if you plan on attending Housing Washington (October 2-4), please come by our booth (#423) to say hello! We would love to see you and talk with you about working together to advance affordable housing/community facilities in your area.


Image Credit: Housing Washington

Announcing Our New President

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Joel V. Millar

From Board Chair Saeed Hajarizadeh:

Impact Capital is pleased to announce that Joel V. Millar has been appointed President of Impact Capital. Mr. Millar comes to Impact Capital from US Bank, where he served as an Account Executive for nearly 10 years.

Mr. Millar holds a BA from Washington State University and a Professional Project Management Certificate from the University of Washington.

He enjoys maintaining an active role within various community organizations including service on municipal commissions and community group boards within his community. The board is looking forward to working with him as he steps into this new role.


Saeed Hajarizadeh
Board Chair, Impact Capital

2018 Spring Newsletter

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Message from Judith Olsen

Judith Olsen Executive Director


Impact Capital’s President Judith Olsen has announced her retirement, effective in late June 2018. Judith offers these thoughts as she contemplates her next chapter:

It has been my honor to lead the team at Impact Capital for the past six and a half years. I came to Impact Capital during the recession, and we survived and are thriving today. Managing a loan pool during an economic downturn had it challenges, but it also presented Impact Capital with the opportunity to look hard at its business model, reevaluate where we focused our time and energy, what we wished to accomplish, and most importantly, align ourselves to our partners and their changing needs. This enabled us to be ready and responsive as the economy started to recover and the need for affordable housing became a crisis across our state.

Impact Capital is a complex organization and the work we do is multifaceted. We are not just about providing capital. We are part of the continuum that builds safe communities with affordable housing and robust commercial corridors, as well as access to education, job opportunities, parks, and transportation. The financial model depends on investors who have confidence that we understand our niche in the market, knowing that our success is demonstrated through that of the developments we fund and the organizations managing those developments.

I will miss the people, the smiles on the faces of children as they jump with joy in their very own new home, the smile on a senior citizen’s face as they choose fresh food in a food bank that they can easily access, and the list goes on. My next chapter is full of family, friends, travel, and I hope a lower handicap on the golf course!


Thank You, 1st Security

In early 2018, Impact Capital closed a new type of investment with 1st Security Bank. The $3,000,000 credit facility is a creative approach that allows Impact Capital to access loan capital as needed. Erin Burr, the CRA Officer & Enterprise Risk Manager for 1st Security, listened to the Impact Capital story and made the introductions to Dennis O’Leary, EVP & Chief Lending Officer, and Rob Fuller, Chief Credit Officer. Dennis and Rob developed the facility to meet the needs of Impact Capital while meeting the credit guidelines of 1st Security. Thank you, 1st Security, for listening to our story and bringing a creative and innovative idea to Impact Capital. It is community partners like you that make a difference in low- and moderate-income communities every day.


Eye on Everett: 2018 Groundbreakings

Earlier this year, there were two significant groundbreakings for two of our borrowers in Everett: Cocoon House began construction on its Colby Avenue Youth Center and HopeWorks Social Enterprises began work on HopeWorks Station II.


Cocoon House

Impact Capital provided an acquisition loan for the future home of Cocoon House’s Colby Avenue Youth Center, a multi-service facility with 40 housing units for homeless youth (ages 15-17) and young adults (ages 18-24), a day/drop-in center, communal areas and staff office space. According to the Cocoon House website, “The new Cocoon House facility is scheduled to open in 2019 with the goal of giving young people in the community direct access to mental health and substance abuse services, educational opportunities and vocational resources.”

Colby Avenue Youth Center – exterior rendering


HopeWorks Social Enterprises

With community offerings such as meals and meeting space, and 65 affordable apartments for youth, veterans and families, HopeWorks Social Enterprises’ HopeWorks Station II promises to be “a transformative residential and social hub that gives more than it takes; from energy and water use to equity, health and happiness.” A transit-oriented development (TOD), it is located within just a couple blocks of the Everett Transit Station. An Impact Capital predevelopment loan is a crucial part of bringing the project to fruition, ensuring that this TOD will be part of the key strategy to achieve the Puget Sound Regional Council’s VISION 2040 goals for regional mobility, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

HopeWorks Station II – interior rendering


The Annual Report Is Here!

Cover of the 2017 annual report

Finally, we are happy and excited to share with you our Annual Report for 2017. It was a great year for us, and in the report, you’ll find a diverse array of projects, as well as evidence of promising growth. We look forward to the coming year and bringing you our next annual report in a year’s time!



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2017 End-of-Year Newsletter

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Message from Judith Olsen

Judith Olsen Executive Director


As 2017 draws to a close, the Impact Capital team would like to take the time to say thank you and reflect on success in turbulent times. As you will see in this newsletter, we took the opportunity at our annual meeting to present awards to two of Impact Capital’s long-term partners, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) and Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington (CHSWW/CSSWW). Additionally, we ended the year by celebrating one opening and one groundbreaking: Housing Hope’s Twin Lakes Landing in Marysville and Imagine Housing’s 30Bellevue, respectively.

This year has been a remarkable one at Impact Capital. Our loan volume increased by 88% and we welcomed new investments from WSHFC, Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, US Bank, and Northern Trust. We also did our first Community Investment Fund (CIF) loan in Eugene, Oregon, to the Evergreen Union Retirement Association for $800,000. Thank you to all our investors for providing us with the capital to help our partners build clean, safe, affordable housing and community facilities in neighborhoods and communities that are vibrant and equitable, with access to transportation, services, education and parks. These are places where we all can live, work, play, learn and grow old.

We look forward to a new year filled with hope, and are dedicated to playing our role in building a bright future for all our communities and partners in these complex times.


Annual Honorees

This year at our annual meeting, we recognized two of our outstanding partners. The Washington State Housing and Finance Commission (WSHFC) was awarded for Outstanding Partnership, and Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington (CHSWW) and Rob Van Tassell for Innovation in Development of Supportive Housing.


L to R: Bob Peterson of WSHFC; Lowel Krueger, Judith Olsen; Lisa Vatske of WSHFC

From Judith’s presentation remarks to WSHFC: The Commission has been with Impact Capital step by step through the years, as interest rates came down, through the recession, through new leadership and program changes. They have not only invested in Impact Capital, but they have been around the table with us the whole way. From building strategic plans to making changes to our program, the development of new loan programs, and bringing much needed flexibility to how they fund Impact Capital.


L to R: Patrick Tippy, David Tan, Rob Van Tassell, Michelle Umadhay of CHSWW

From David Tan’s presentation remarks to CHSWW/Rob: We at Impact Capital are pleased to honor Rob Van Tassell and Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington for innovation, creativity and compassion as one of our treasured partners in creating affordable housing for our communities. CHS has a stated mission of being voices for social justice, the dignity of every human and acting as leaders, advocates, providers and partners serving poor and vulnerable people in our society. We share those values and are proud to be partners with CHSWW.


End-of-Year Opening and Groundbreaking

December brought the opening of one partner’s project, and the groundbreaking for another.

First, Housing Hope’s Twin Lakes Landing in Marysville officially opened on December 8th. Judith was in attendance, as was Q13 Fox! Click HERE to see the heartwarming news story.

And on December 12th, Imagine Housing broke ground for the future site of their 30Bellevue development on the property of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Read the Facebook post and see more photos HERE.


Volunteering at the U District Food Bank

Last but certainly not least, on December 18th, all of us at Impact Capital (Judith, Lora, David, Rachel and Melanee) got to join the other fantastic volunteers for an afternoon at the U District Food Bank in Seattle. Executive Director Joe Gruber (also the photographer here!) was kind enough to show us around a bit, too. More in our Facebook post HERE.


Judith Olsen Executive Director

Message From Judith Olsen

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This Spring newsletter finds us a little anxious about funding and policies, not only for Impact Capital but for the many nonprofit partners we work with throughout our market. We ask everyone to take a moment out of your day to support CDFI funding and the many programs that provide for the delivery of affordable housing, such as CDBG. Here’s a link with some helpful suggestions – http://ofn.org/articles/call-action-inspire-congress-support-cdfi-fund.

We are excited to announce our new Preservation Loan Product. This product is in response to our region’s aging property portfolio, from LITHC projects to HUD 515s to the many USDA mortgages maturing in our rural communities. Our goal is to bring flexible and patient capital to the perseveration arena. We would love to hear about your needs in this area and, of course, any feedback you might have on the new product. Please feel free to email me at judith@impactcapital.org.

Finally, a reminder that we’re also lending in Oregon, specifically the Portland MSA, which includes Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties. If you want to talk about lending in Oregon or anywhere else in our service territory, please contact Seth Benziger at Seth@impactcapital.org, or (206) 658-2605.

Mayor signing paper

Mount Baker Housing Loan

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Impact Capital strives to make it easier for nonprofits to access loans that don’t typically meet bank guidelines. These loans become seed money and, with Impact’s flexible lending policies and procedures, early capital can be provided to get projects off the ground quickly and help attract future investors.

Recently, Mount Baker Housing Association (MBHA) was looking for a loan to help purchase five heavily contaminated parcels in Southeast Seattle. Due to the complicated and large nature of the project clean-up, MBHA was unable to secure funding from local banks. Impact Capital stepped in with a $3.2 million acquisition loan to MBHA so that they would not encounter delays.

This Impact Capital loan will help provide MBHA the ability to clean up the contaminated land that is conveniently located in a TOD-rich area near a light rail station, which will lead to the creation of 150 units of affordable housing.

At a press conference held at MBHA’s site in February, City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a resolution designating it a Redevelopment Opportunity Zone (ROZ). Mayor Murray said, “This is a win for the environment, a win for affordable housing, and a win for a more livable Mt. Baker neighborhood.”

Photo courtesy of Seattle.gov.

Predevelopment Loan Limit Increase

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As many of our readers are aware, trends in the affordable housing industry are driving up expenses. In the Puget Sound region, construction costs have been escalating rapidly for the past few years. Somewhat overshadowed by the proliferation of cranes in the greater Seattle area are rapidly inflating underlying costs needed to bring projects to fruition. Outside Puget Sound, as pressure mounts to create more affordable housing units throughout the region, projects are becoming larger and more complex – necessitating increased predevelopment expenses.

In response to these changing conditions and to better serve our clients, on February 7th Impact Capital’s Board of Directors approved an increase to the maximum loan limit on our Phase 2 predevelopment loans from $750,000 to $1,000,000. These loans are largely provided on an unsecured basis and help a project move quickly from funding to construction closing. The increased loan limit helps cover these ever-increasing costs, ensuring our partners’ precious financial resources can be put to better use.

If you are interested in a Phase 2 predevelopment loan, please contact Seth Benziger at seth@impactcapital.org,or at 206-658-2605.

Photo of Kim Herman and Susan Duren

Celebrating Partner Anniversaries

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We wanted to give a quick shout out to two of Impact Capital’s most important partners, the Washington Community Reinvestment Association and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. This year, WCRA celebrates their 25th anniversary, and WSHFC their 34th. Here’s to a continued long-lasting relationship.

Pictured above are (left to right):

Kim Herman, Executive Director, WSHFC
Impact Capital Board Member (Immediate Past Chair)

Susan Duren, President, WCRA
Impact Capital Board Member (Treasurer)



Judith Olsen Executive Director

Message From Judith Olsen

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As we come to the end of 2016, I would like to take a moment to thank our board of directors; our many partners, investors, and borrowers; the communities in which we work; and, of course, the Impact Capital team. This year we saw a record number of loan closures. In the Community Investment Fund portfolio, 12 loans were closed for a total of $10,337,092. This helped create, among other things, 502 units of affordable housing, and a fabulous community food bank in Seattle’s University District. We closed 10 loans in the Community Development Loan Fund portfolio which helped create 438 units of affordable housing, 44,362 square feet of commercial space, and 9,207 square feet of community space.


As a CDFI, our job is to be responsive to the credit needs of our communities. Impact Capital cannot do this work without each of you – we are just one piece of the capital stack. Frequently, Impact Capital is the first-in, catalytic capital when a project is just an idea. It takes many talented and dedicated individuals and organizations to develop the idea, and produce a pathway that ultimately creates a new community facility, or a place for people to call home. Right now, as we look at vacancy rates across Washington State and the Portland Oregon MSA, we see the need for clean, safe, and affordable housing continue to grow. At the same time, the need for more community facilities continues to grow as well, facilities that can provide services, job training, and space to deliver basic needs.


As we enter in to a new era of federal policy, it is not the time to throw up our hands in frustration. Our work will change, it may become more complex, and many low-income families will continue to struggle. More than ever, it is time to set aside differences. It is our job to articulate the community need, to help support programs that work, to find and develop new programs and policies, and to move forward in being part of the solution.


My most sincere thank you to each of you for what you do for our communities. I look forward to your partnership in 2017.

Impact Capital new offices at one convention place

Impact Capital Has Moved

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After 15 years in Pioneer Square, just a block and a half north of CenturyLink Field, Impact Capital relocated to One Convention Place as of October 17th, 2016. Our new address is:

Impact Capital

701 Pike Street
Suite #1645
Seattle, WA 98101

The rest of our contact information remains the same.


We’re all settled in now, and even hosted our annual reception here earlier in the month to showcase our new space. If you’d care to stop by for a visit we’d love to see you. You can send a note to Michael Murray (MichaelM@impactcapital.org) to set up a time, or just drop by if you’re in the area. There are many parking options near us around the convention center, and the Westlake Light Rail Station is only a couple of blocks away. Also? Up here on the 16th floor we have east and south facing windows, with stunning views of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. And, if you lean just a little, pretty good views of Mt. Baker, too.

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