Community investing takes off

Over the past decade, investment in underserved towns and neighborhoods around that globe has almost quintupled to $19.6 billion, a new study says.

“Community Investing Trends Report,” published by the Community Investing Program, a project of the Social Investing Forum Foundation and Co-Op America, defines community investing as capital that people and groups invest in communities underserved by traditional financial institutions.

Community investing focuses on revitalization, the study says, primarily through growing home ownership, small business job creation and increasing community level services.

Assets in community development banks grew to $10.1 billion in 2005 from $2.9 billion in 1999, the report says, up over 41 percent in the last two years alone.

Assets of community development credit unions soared 749 percent to $5.1 billion over the same time period, while community development loan fund assets shot up 97 percent to $3.4 billion.

Since 1999, assets in community development venture capital funds grew 480 percent to $870 million, the report says.

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