In 1995, Philadelphia, a city on the East Coast of the United States, pioneered a unique use of a long-running federal loan program to bolster economic development and create jobs for low-income communities. Conceived by elected officials and economic development staff and championed by an ambitious mayor, the novel approach employed a lesser-known component of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program known as a Section 108 loan guarantee. Philadelphia established the nation’s first citywide loan pool funded by the Section 108 program and became a model for other communities wishing to undertake similar projects. This case is the first in a series on financing local housing and economic development initiatives.
Hilary Duff drafted this case study based on interviews and research conducted in Philadelphia during November and December 2022. This case is part of a series about using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program effectively. The views expressed in the case study do not necessarily represent those of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Case published in April 2023.