Citi announced the issuance of a $2.5 billion bond, with proceeds earmarked for the financing of construction, rehabilitation and preservation of quality affordable housing for low-and moderate-income populations in the U.S.
Citi stated that it worked exclusively with five Black-owned firms to syndicate the issuance, hiring firms including Blaylock Van, CastleOak Securities, Global Oak Capital Markets, Loop Capital Markets and Security Capital Brokerage, to underwrite and distribute the bonds to investors.
Michael Verdeschi, Treasurer of Citi, said:
“This bond issuance is a win-win for Citi. Through our partnership with these minority-owned firms, we further enhance our best-in-class capital market distribution capabilities, while also financing affordable housing projects.”
Nathan L. Lewis, President and CEO Security Capital Brokerage, said:
“Security Capital is proud to have been part of this transaction. We truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with Citi in supporting affordable housing and look forward future opportunities to work together.”
The issuance follows an announcement by the bank in November that it has invested $1 billion in strategic initiatives aimed at helping to close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the U.S. in the first year of its 3-year commitment under its Action for Racial Equity initiative, putting Citi on track to significantly exceed its initial $1.1 billion target. One of the key goals of the initiative is to allocate $550 million to support homeownership for people of color and affordable housing by minority developers.
In April, Citi announced a commitment to achieve $1 trillion in sustainable finance deployment by 2030, earmarking $500 billion to support Sustainable Development Goals including education, affordable housing, health care, economic inclusion, community finance, international development finance, racial and ethnic diversity and gender equality.
Mark Mason, Chief Financial Officer of Citi, said:
“Safe and affordable housing is an important platform for financial stability and economic mobility, yet it is scarce and too expensive in many urban areas across the country. Citi has been the #1 affordable housing development lender in the U.S. for the past 11 years and this bond issuance is reflective of our commitment to increase the availability of affordable housing units within the communities we live and work. Dr. King had a tremendous influence on the passage of the Fair Housing Act and I’m proud that Citi continues to leverage our business capabilities to help achieve equity in the housing market.”