Revitalized: The Fall and Rise of a Mission Based Housing Finance Company

The Community Preservation Corporation was formed in 1974 as a direct response to the issues of property abandonment and blight that New York City was facing at the time. Over the following four decades, CPC’s creative financing solutions have supported critical housing projects in neighborhoods across New York State and beyond, improving communities and people’s lives. From a financial perspective, CPC today is a strong organization, delivering housing capital at scale, and to the communities and projects that need it most.

In the wake of the national mortgage crisis, the company nearly collapsed. By 2011, hobbled by internal issues and the fallout of poor credit and risk decisions, CPC faced the very real possibility of having to close its doors.

But the company fought back. Under the guidance of new leadership and with the help of its broad network of financial institutions, community, and government partners, CPC embarked on an extensive, four-pronged restructuring process.

Written in case study format, Revitalized is designed both to memorialize CPC’s own lessons learned and create a document that could be of use to the broader housing finance and nonprofit management industries.

Download Revitalized below for a candid, in-depth look at the “how” of CPC’s turnaround based on numerous interviews, company documents, and public data. The document is designed to be useful to executives facing restructure, scaling, risk, or governance challenges; CDFI, nonprofit, or multifamily housing finance professionals; city officials or concerned community members aiming to improve access to affordable housing; and individuals broadly interested in community and economic development, public-private partnership models, and/or the history of housing in NYC. The document uses a mixture of community profiles, financial statistics, and narratives to illustrate the strategies CPC employed and its lessons learned.