Ecological Revolving Loan Fund Info Sheet


CRSP’s Ecological Revolving Loan Fund (ELF) is a small community loan fund used specifically for acquiring and ecologically retrofitting property in the two block L.A. Eco-Village neighborhood and/or making loans to small green cooperatively oriented businesses started by LAEV members and/or associated  CRSP businesses.   It is a socially responsible fund that has borrowed and paid back close to two million dollars in the past 30 years.


Many people are unhappy with their mainstream banks, and with other conventional investment opportunities of stocks, bonds, hedge funds and whatnot.  ELF interest rates may be higher than conventional interest rates on cash such as money market accounts, savings and certificates of deposit.  Conventional loans, also, are used for who knows what and who knows where, doing damage to who knows who and what and where.  ELF lenders know where their money is.  They have an open invitation to visit LAEV and see what their money is doing:  building a stronger, more sustainable and resilient demonstration neighborhood that has been influencing other sustainable community initiatives locally and worldwide for more than 28 years.


Individuals or organizations who are already in relationship with CRSP, the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT) or Urban Soil/Tierra Urbana (USTU) explore the ELF guidelines noted below.  We invite others interested in a potential loan to ELF to get to know us by coming on one of our regularly scheduled tours.  

Or during the current Covid-19 era, while our tours are on hold, just search <L.A. Eco-Village> on for videos or the internet for the many hundreds of articles about us.

Currently, ELF is accepting loans starting at $1,000 and up to $100,000.  Our current interest rate is 1.5% simple and paid out quarterly or annually.   Lenders to ELF determine the amount they feel comfortable lending and the term of their loan.  We encourage potential lenders to talk with other lenders before making a decision to loan.   Loans are paid back from mortgages CRSP currently holds on LAEV properties, other loans coming in, and/or charitable contributions to CRSP.


In late 2016, CRSP acquired an old auto shop and café on the northern boundary of the L.A. Eco-Village neighborhood at W. First Street and Bimini Place.  Now referred to as the L.A. Ecovillage Community Hub aka Songs, the property (at  3554 W. First Street) is being retrofitted for a community educational center, hub, and small green co-op business incubator, an events venue, and an ecological co-op hostel for group learning experiences in urban sustainable living.  For lender updates on this property and other news in L.A. Eco-Village, go here.

The retrofitting of the Community Hub property is expected to be on-going for the next few years.  BuroHappold engineering and Perkins & Will architecture, both internationally prominent firms, have donated over $40,000 of in-kind engineering and design services to the Community Hub project, ensuring that, when completed, the ecologically rich retrofit will be among the most interesting destination points in central Los Angeles.  During 2020-2021, these firms continued to work on the conceptual designs for the entire two block and adjacent neighborhood for a “Los Angeles Eco-Village: 2050.”

Currently, we are seeking additional loans for the actual systems retrofit of the LAEV Community Hub.

If you are interested in exploring a loan, feel free to request a DRAFT plan on the project from Lois ( or 213/738-1254) and/or see the quarterly updates on the project here.


  • Term of Loan*

ELF Loans are for 18 months, 3 years,  5 years or 10 years.  Can be reviewed annually.
You select your own term!

  • Interest Rates*

Current rate (2021 – 2022) is 1.5%.  Interest on loans is paid out quarterly or annually.  Principal is paid at the end of the loan period, unless alternative arrangements are made.

Loan Amounts*

Most loans are between $5,000 and $20,000.  You select what is right for you.

  • Use of Loan Monies*

Currently, 2021-2022, your loan will be used for continued retrofitting of the Los Angeles Ecovillage Community Hub, aka Songs.   Our plan is to redevelop the property into a car-free mixed use permanently affordable environmentally sensitive community educational center and community hub, including small green co-op businesses, and an eco co-op hostel for immersion experiences in urban sustainable living, a learning plant nursery in pots, a nonprofit venue space for special educational events.  This  development will provide livelihood opportunities for people who live in LAEV and adjacent.

Examples of small green businesses that have been  incubated in LAEV or are currently incubating include the Relampago Wheelery, Bicycle Kitchen, Cafecito Organico, the Food Lobby co-op, the LAEV Art Studio,  the LAEV Sewing Studio, the LAEV Arts & Crafts store,  the Arroyo Seco Network of Time Banks, and the LAEV Family Childcare Service.  ELF was also the financial vehicle for acquiring 50 units of permanently affordable housing in the Los Angeles Eco-Village, now owned by the Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana (USTU) limited equity housing cooperative, and the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT).  Now, USTU and BVCLT are both independent nonprofit 501.c.3 corporations.

  • Loan Security and Payback Sources*

Loans are made to CRSP (ELF) and are not generally recorded as liens against any property CRSP now owns or might purchase. Loans are secured by a loan agreement.  Loans are paid back from mortgages CRSP currently holds on LAEV properties, other loans coming in, and/or charitable donations to CRSP.

  • Talk with Others Who Have Loaned*

You are encouraged to talk with other lenders to the ELF, and ask them about their process in making the decision to loan. Contact Lois (213/738-1254) for a phone list or email addresses and phone numbers of other lenders.

  • Loan Agreement*

See sample loan document here.   Feel free to recommend edits  as it suits your needs.  You can fill out on-line and return to

  • Where to Send Checks*

Checks should be made out to CRSP and sent to:
CRSP, Attn:  Lois Arkin
117 Bimini Place #221
Los Angeles, CA 90004.

Electronic transfers can also be arranged.
More info: contact Lois at 213-738-1254 or

DONATION POSSIBILITIES:  And remember, if you’d rather make a tax deductible contribution, the family of LAEV development organizations–CRSP, USTU and BVCLT can all offer you a potential tax advantage.  Consult your accountant or tax attorney to determine what your tax advantages could be when you donate cash, stocks, bonds or property to a 501.c.3 corporation.



updated May 2021

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