CIC History



Three years before the Community Reinvestment Act was passed, Chicago’s major financial institutions create Community Services and Research Corporation (CSRC), a separate, self-sustaining nonprofit mortgage lender, as a vehicle to research credit needs and to provide single-family rehab financing in targeted areas of Chicago. CSRC ultimately was renamed Community Investment Corporation, the present CIC.


CIC specializes in rehab lending for one- to four-unit apartment buildings. By the early 1980s, CIC’s single-family programs make $15 million in loans on 989 units.


CIC shifts to multifamily rehab lending. Its loan program begins with $17.5 million and 14 investors.


To respond to market needs, CIC expands its multifamily rehab lending to the entire six-county metropolitan Chicago area.


CIC’s loan fund grows to $500 million and 58 investors. (The number of investors from this point forward would appear to shrink, but actually is only indicative of mergers and consolidations in the banking industry producing fewer, but larger, financial institutions.)


CIC investors authorize a $100 million Flex Fund loan program, which uses a portion of the CIC loan pool to make loans for projects needing an intervention stimulus. Using less stringent criteria than standard CIC underwriting, as of 2012 the Flex Fund has provided $120 million for 205 loans.

Committed to helping hands-on property owners succeed, CIC institutes the Property Management Training Program, a workshop series that provides landlords with the knowledge to better market, manage and maintain residential property.


CIC receives $5 million in city, state and federal grant funds to create new loan products and subsidy programs for multifamily apartment buildings in targeted areas of Chicago.

CIC receives additional grant funds from Illinois Housing Development Authority to provide matching rehab grants for apartment buildings in the six-county metropolitan Chicago area. President John Pritscher (right) receives the 2001 Friend of the Neighborhoods award at the annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards event. In 2002 CIC establishes an affiliate nonprofit corporation, Community Initiatives Inc. (CII), to directly intervene in preserving affordable housing.


CIC continues to receive funding support from the federal Community Development Finance Institution agency (nearly $2 million for CIC’s third CDFI grant) and from IHDA and the City.

CIC/Community Initiatives Inc. begins to administer the “Troubled Buildings Initiative,” a joint CIC/City of Chicago program targeting the worst buildings in a neighborhood with tools to convey the buildings to new owners who will rehab them with CIC financing. As of September 2014, TBI has addressed conditions in 778 buildings with over 14,000 affordable rental units of which 407 buildings with 8,333 units have been successfully preserved.


In January, 2006, 104 Lawndale Restoration buildings with 1,104 units were conveyed from HUD to the City to CIC, which were in turn transferred in 23 separate parcels to as many developers to return them to functioning status.


In 2007 CIC began to address the new and growing problem of condo fraud. In October, 2007, CIC President John Pritscher was named to the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. Sadly, thirteen days before the award was to be presented, John passed away on October 13, 2007.




On November 1, a new era began with the appointment of former Chicago Commissioner of Housing John G. “Jack” Markowski [at left] as CIC’s new president and CEO.





The Energy Savers program is created in cooperation with Elevate Energy (formerly called CNT Energy) and with initial grant support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Grand Victoria Foundation and subsequently from the Chicago Department of Environment, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, PNC Bank, and Bank of America. Since the program began, more than 59,000 apartment units have been audited and more than 26,500 units retrofitted. Of the units retrofitted, 8,300 units involving 130 loans totaling $21.5 million have been processed through the CIC Energy Savers Fund as of May 2016.


CIC develops a condominium acquisition program with the City of Chicago to acquire condo units in failed or fraudulent buildings and to convert the buildings into apartments. Since 2009 CIC has acquired 125 condo units in 19 buildings and filed condo deconversion orders on 33 buildings with 372 units.


CIC is assured of lending capital for the next five years with the signing on March 16 of the “Note Purchase Agreement,” a contract with 33 financial institutions to make available approximately $400 million for affordable multifamily housing.


CIC passes a significant milestone: since its inception, CIC has lent more than $1,000,000,000 for the acquisition and rehab of affordable housing in Chicagoland.

In recognition of our role in affordable housing, CIC becomes the leading administrative partner in The Preservation Compact, an effort originally convened by the MacArthur Foundation and the Urban Land Institute to preserve affordable rental housing in Cook County. CIC has convened working groups on expanding energy conservation, preserving government-assisted housing, streamlining code and permit processes, and rehabbing small buildings.


CIC received $2 million as a winner of a 2012 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. CIC was one of 15 nonprofits in six countries (Russia, Uganda, Nigeria, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to win this prestigious award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. And in June CIC won TWO of the first-ever Chicago Vision Awards from the Urban Land Institute: one for its Energy Savers Program, in conjunction with CNT Energy; and the other for the Distressed Condominium Program of the Troubled Buildings Initiative with the City of Chicago.


CIC and its subsidiary, Community Initiatives, Inc., received the Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award for its work in leading the preservation of a 30-unit building at 5800 South Michigan. The award was presented to CIC and 5T Management at the annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards program on February 13. New loan products–one with lower rates and shorter terms for low-/no-rehab buildings, and the other targeting groups of 1-4 unit buildings near to each other–were introduced late in the year.

Emanuel Madigan 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announce CIC’s new 1-4 Unit Rental Redevelopment program in April. The program fills a gap in which no financing was available to help investors rehab groups of small buildings in the 6-county area. Go here for more information on the program. CIC also passed the 2,000 mark in loans approved since our multifamily program began in 1984.



On March 16, 2015, CIC began a new 5-year agreement with 37 bank investors to provide $172 million in lending capital. In an economic environment which has challenged even the largest financial institutions, this demonstration of faith in CIC shows that it’s only possible to “do good” if the organization can “do well.”


To be the leading force in neighborhood revitalization through innovative financial programs.


As of  January 2015, CIC has made

  • Over 2,000 multifamily loans
  • totaling more than $1.2Billion
  • to rehab more over 55,000 rental units providing affordable housing
  • for more than 130,000 Chicago-area residents.

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