Apply for a CVP Loan

CVP provides zero-interest loans to nonprofits and mission-driven for-profits launching affordable housing, community facilities, or social impact economic development projects in the Chicago region. JCUA awards a maximum of $200,000 per loan, typically for up to two years, to be repaid as a lump sum at the end of the term. CVP loans cover project costs, typically in the project’s predevelopment phase. Acceptable uses of CVP funds include:

  • Architectural drawings
  • Environmental testing
  • Market studies
  • Application fees
  • Legal fees
  • Acquisition costs
  • Bridge financing for reimbursement-based public grants
  • Other expenses, considered on a case-by-case basis


I. How to Apply

Applications are accepted during the following review periods throughout the year.

Winter Deadline: January 25, 2024
Summer Deadline: June 1, 2024
Fall Deadline: October 1, 2024

In order to apply, please contact Rose Shapiro ( to schedule a pre-application meeting.

Following the pre-application meeting, all applicants will complete an application form and submit the following documents:

  • A brief narrative (approximately two pages) of the proposed project addressing the following issues:
    • Overview of the organization(s) involved in the project
    • Overview of the project
    • Population served by the project (including type of housing needs to be met, if applicable)
    • Impact of the proposed project on the community/neighborhood
    • Summary of existing community support for the project
    • Description of the project’s climate resiliency measures
    • Outline of intended use of CVP funds and other funding sources for the project
    • Description of applicant’s development experience
    • Project timeline
  • Total project budget, including uses, expected sources, and status of each source (e.g. application pending, commitment received, expiration date of commitment)
  • Total pre-development budget – including uses, expected sources, and status of each source (e.g. application pending, commitment received, expiration date of commitment) 
  • Evidence of site control, if available. If the applicant does not yet have site control, provide a plan with a timeline for site control.
  • Renderings, site plans, and floor plan drawings, if available 
  • Letters of support, if available
  • Organizational documents: (i) articles of incorporation; (ii) by laws; (iii) partnership agreements (iv) copy of IRS determination (v) Certificate of Good Standing
  • Latest two years of audits/financial statements
  • List of board members and bios or list of officers and directors of corporation or partnership

Applications are reviewed by the CVP Advisory Committee. The committee submits recommendations to JCUA’s Board of Directors to approve loans and terms. Applicants may receive a decision in as little as 3 months.


II. Eligible Projects

CVP partners with affordable housing, community facilities, and social impact economic development projects, with priority consideration given to creating and preserving affordable housing.

Affordable Housing

CVP provides capital to housing projects that: 

  • Increase affordable rental housing stock for households under 80% AMI including Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) across the region.
  • Create or preserve transitional housing for community members experiencing homelessness.
  • Create or strengthen housing cooperatives for members of BIPOC, disabled, veteran, unhoused, returning citizen, LGBTQ+, and immigrant communities
  • Increase homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income members of BIPOC, disabled, veteran, unhoused, returning citizen, LGBTQ+, and immigrant communities.
  • Prevent displacement of current residents/communities in gentrifying neighborhoods.

Community Facilities 

CVP provides capital to buildings or places that provide for the physical, social, cultural, or intellectual welfare of the local community.

Social Impact Economic Development

CVP provides vital capital to BIPOC-owned small-to-mid-sized local enterprises that prioritize social profitability alongside financial profitability. 


III. Funding Criteria and Priorities 


Applications are assessed on the following criteria:

  • Social Benefit: The extent to which the project improves availability of affordable and accessible housing, provides or expands an otherwise missing or limited resource in the community, and/or creates permanent quality jobs and/or equity/ownership opportunities for members of BIPOC, disabled, veteran, unhoused, returning citizen, LGBTQ, and immigrant communities, while prioritizing impact on people and environment alongside financial profits.
  • Equitable Local Investment: The extent to which the project targets BIPOC-majority neighborhoods to address systemic disinvestment or targets neighborhoods with high levels of BIPOC displacement to address the racist impacts of gentrification.
  • Experienced Team: The extent to which the team gathered for the project possesses the knowledge and skills to complete the project successfully
  • Project Viability: The extent to which the project demonstrates strong organizational financial standing and a realistic plan for financing and completing the project
  • Viable Repayment Source: The extent to which the project demonstrates a likely and acceptable source of repayment including, but are not limited to, public allocated capital, private grants, capital/investment campaign, program/earned revenue, private loan, or reserves.
  • BIPOC Ownership*: The extent to which project leadership, governance, and ownership self identify as BIPOC. *At least 51% BIPOC-leadership is required for economic development projects and prioritized for housing and community facility projects.
  • Acceptable Use of Loan: Whether or not the loan will cover project-based (pre)development costs.


CVP prioritizes projects that include one or more of the following criteria:

  • Climate Resiliency: The extent to which the project includes intentional and substantial environmental sustainability components
  • Shared Ownership: The extent to which the project uses community, worker, and/or member ownership models
  • Community Involvement: The extent to which the project includes a process for seeking and incorporating community approval, feedback, or oversight
  • Connection to JCUA Campaigns or Programs: The extent to which the project compliments, relates to, or collaborates with other initiatives of JCUA.


In order to apply or to learn more, please contact Rose Shapiro (