One Hope United’s Joliet center made possible through state grants, NMTCs January 1, 2015

One Hope United’s (OHU) Joliet Early Learning Center will open in March, thanks to an Illinois state grant and $15 million in new markets tax credits (NMTC) that were finalized last fall.

Early in the process, IFF worked with OHU on its successful application for a $3.1 million state grant from the Capital Development Board (CDB) to rehab an old school building. When costs came in higher than expected for the project, IFF helped the longtime customer in finding federal and state NMTC financing from the Southside Community Optimal Redevelopment Enterprise (SCORE) and Stonehenge. The $10 million in state NMTCs and $5 million in federal NMTCs comes to $2.1 million of equity to OHU once fees are paid. The NMTC benefit to OHU—made possible by combining costs from its Aurora child care center—allows the organization to eliminate permanent debt.

IFF served as project manager for the two centers, both located in communities ranked among the state’s highest-need areas for child care. IFF worked with Aurora officials to secure free land and financing, as well as to identify OHU as the operator.