In the fall of 1991, the idea of creating a Tampa Bay area lending consortium for affordable housing was presented to a group of bankers and community lenders at a meeting hosted by Mayor David Fischer of the City of St. Petersburg at the law firm of Robbins, Gaynor & Bronstein. As a result of the interest generated at that meeting, the Development Fund, a California not-for-profit organization, was asked to prepare a plan for the establishment of a community reinvestment corporation for the Tampa Bay area.
In January 1992, a larger meeting of leaders from the financial industry, business community and public sector was held at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg. At this meeting, the Development Fund presented the plan, which called for the creation of a task force ("task force") to design and develop an organization to respond to unmet credit needs for affordable housing in Tampa Bay. During the following month, a total of eighteen financial institutions formed a task force for the purpose of establishing a lending consortium to extend credit to sound affordable housing developments.
Established in 1963, The Development Fund is a San Francisco based nonprofit corporation that develops innovative financing mechanisms for affordable housing and related community improvement. The Development Fund has promoted and tested innovative ideas in affordable housing and community development through short-term demonstration programs such as the Reverse Annuity Mortgage Program and the Double Unit Opportunity Program. In 1989, The Development Fund worked with 26 of California's leading banks to establish the California Community Reinvestment Corporation (CCRC). CCRC is now a lending consortium consisting of 60 banks and administering a $100 million revolving loan pool, which provides long term permanent financing for affordable housing developments in California. Since 1990, The Development Fund has helped establish similar lending consortia in the states of Hawaii, Central Florida, Washington, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.
George Koehn, Chairman, CEO and President of SunBank of Tampa Bay provided leadership for the effort as Chairman of the task force. Each of the eighteen task force institutions committed funds and personnel to the task force.
The task force originally formed two working committees, the Organization and Operations Committee, chaired by Gene Windham, Executive Vice President of NationsBank, and the Underwriting and Secondary Market Committee, chaired by Charles Britton, Senior Vice President of SunBank, Tampa Bay. Consisting of senior and middle management staff, the two committees met once a month for four months to plan the structure and operations of the proposed lending consortium. In addition to the committee meetings, members of the two committees devoted additional time and effort to discussing affordable housing needs with local community groups, as well as representatives from the housing industry and the public sector. The Development Fund assisted the task force and its committees by providing informational materials, model documents, staff support, and a process through which options and issues were identified, discussed, and resolved on a timely basis.
In July 1992, the task force reconvened to review and adopt the recommendations of the Organization and Operation Committee and the Underwriting and Secondary Market Committee. The task force then appointed an Implementation Committee to finalize the tasks needed to establish NLP. The Implementation Committee co-chaired by Charles Britton and David Darnell, Executive Vice President of NationsBank, was charged with the following activities: the recommendation of the final NLP budget with its concurrent costs of capitalization; the executive search for the NLP president; the subscription and enrollment of the NLP members; the nominations of the initial Board of Directors and committees; the completion of all legal reviews of NLP documents; and the filing of all NLP business documents. The work of the Implementation Committee was completed on March 10, 1993 at the final meeting of the NLP task force and the first annual meeting of the membership of the new corporation. After receiving approval of its application for tax-exempt status under 501 (c)(3) of the IRS code, NLP opened its doors for business on April 1, 1993.
Task force members undertook extensive outreach to local government and to representatives of community-based organizations in the region. A series of meetings, both with groups and with individual jurisdictions were held to solicit feedback and refinements of NLP's mission, goals, operations and lending program.
In November 1996, as NLP approached the end of its third year in operation, the organization held a community wide Strategic Planning Conference to insure its continuing value to the community and its membership. The outcome was an expanded market area and product offering, as well as an increased loan pool.
In October 2001 the members again convened to expand the market area by opening in South Florida. In 2004, NLP opened its North Florida affiliate and now covers the entire state of Florida. The loan pool has now grown from the initial $50 million to over $200 million statewide.