An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Community First Fund awarded $30 million in federal tax credits

Community FIrst Fund’s Lancaster headquarters, 51 S. Duke St. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

Community First Fund has received a federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation of $30 million, the Lancaster-based nonprofit lender announced Monday.

Daniel Betancourt

The funding will allow Community First Fund to support projects that create jobs and affordable housing, widen access to healthy foods in food deserts and promote access to healthcare, said Daniel Betancourt, Community First Fund president and CEO.

“We are extremely proud of this accomplishment and even more excited about the resources it will bring to the communities we serve,” he said. 

New Markets Tax Credits allow investors to reduce their federal income tax liability in return for underwriting development projects in underserved communities. Financing is arranged through certified “Community Development Entities,” like Community First Fund.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund manages the program. The process is extremely competitive, Community First Fund spokesman Chris Styers said: Community First was one of just 102 institutions nationwide to receive an allocation and the only one in Pennsylvania.

The credits are typically used to fill gaps in conventional financing to make projects feasible. In Lancaster, New Markets Tax Credits supported the renovation of 101 NQ at Ewell Plaza and at 115 E. King St., where the Lancaster Chamber relocated in 2017.

Headquartered in Lancaster, Community First Fund has branch offices in Philadelphia, Reading, York, Harrisburg and Allentown. It serves a 16-county area in central and southeast Pennsylvania as well as suburban Philadelphia counties in Delaware and New Jersey.