Case Study: Cinnaire

As a Community Development Financial Institution with a presence in nine states, Cinnaire supports the development of vibrant neighborhoods by focusing on the social determinants of health, community stabilization, and economic development. With the election of Mayor Purzycki in Wilmington, Delaware, 2017 presented an opportunity for Cinnaire to play an active role in his effort to address over 1,500 vacant properties across the city. More specifically, Cinnaire was interested in establishing the Wilmington Healthy Neighborhood Initiative (HNI) that would include a revolving loan fund to help with the redevelopment of properties from the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank and promote affordable homeownership. HNI would also identify and support other components of healthy neighborhoods such as improved community facilities, healthy food options, and linkages to social services.

Key Findings: The Center found that Cinnaire’s Healthy Neighborhood Initiative was consistent with the interests of area hospitals and those of the Delaware’s State Health Care Innovation Plan. The Innovation Plan, supported by a grant from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, seeks to improve the health of Delawareans, improve health care quality and patient experience, and control the growth in health care costs.

Key Opportunities: The Center recommended that Cinnaire take steps to shape the direction of policy and programs toward investing in its HNI revitalization effort. These steps included active participation in the Innovation Plan’s Healthy Communities Delaware initiative, which yielded new opportunities for collaboration with health care entities and other important players, as well as relevant local and national meetings, such as the National Summit of the Root Cause Coalition, the Delaware Governor’s Conference on Housing, and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Association’s Annual Summit.

Partnership Successes: Aided by the Center, Cinnaire met with a Wilmington-based health system, Christiana Care, to explore their interest in contributing to the HNI fund. Cinnaire also met with with representatives of Trinity Health, a health system that operates 92 hospitals across 22 states, including Saint Francis Hospital in Wilmington, which had identified expanding neighborhood development and revitalization efforts as one strategy to address public safety. Trinity Health itself has a Community Investing Program, through which it provides low-interest loans to CDFIs focused on underserved communities, and approved a $1 million loan to Cinnaire for its HNI revolving fund. This commitment has been instrumental in furthering other fundraising efforts with local financial institutions.

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