Stay tuned to this page for more information in the coming week about the Life-Safety Fund initiative, a joint effort between Community Vision (formerly NCCLF, the Northern California Community Loan Fund) and Safer DIY Spaces, with support from the City of Oakland’s Office of the Mayor.
The Life-Safety Fund (‘LSF’) will function as a 5-year revolving loan pool providing highly competitive, interest-only construction loans for many qualified low-income ‘DIY’ spaces at a critical legalization juncture, wherein sites are faced with significant required building improvements such as monitored sprinkler/alarm systems, seismic retrofits for unreinforced masonry structures, and so on. The initiative aims to bridge the gap for under-resourced small property owners who, due to the mixed-use and non-conforming ‘DIY’ nature of their properties, would not typically qualify for a traditional bank loan. The LSF loan can be secured against the property in second position, however the loan will require guarantees for affordability during the loan term, and additionally, incentivize owners to provide tenants an onramp toward potential ownership 0—0 through for example, new lease terms featuring a Right of First Refusal or an Option to Purchase. Safer DIY Spaces’ role will be to perform critical pre-development, architectural and due-diligence work necessary to successfully qualify properties for the LSF loan.