WHAT IT IS
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.
WHY LOAN TO THE ELF
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.
HOW IT WORKS
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 YouTube.com 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.
HOW YOUR MONEY WILL BE USED
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.
ELF GUIDELINES FOR LENDERS
- 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.
Most loans are between $5,000 and $20,000. You select what is right for you.
- Use of Loan Monies*
Currently, 2023, your loan will be used for continued eco-retrofitting of the former quarter acre auto shop property on the northwest corner of W. 1st Street and Bimini Place, the northern boundary of the two block LAEV neighborhood, into of the Los Angeles Ecovillage Community Hub. This is a space for neighbors to come together for a variety of activities, including educational workshops, public forums, small conferences, learning soil remediation strategies, composting and how to grow food in pots, and how to build cargo bikes that can replace private automobiles. Our longer term vision for the property includes the development of an eco co-op hostel for group immersion experiences in urban sustainable living. This project will continue to provide livelihood opportunities for people who live in LAEV and adjacent.
Examples of small green businesses or nonprofit organizations that have received financial support from ELF (or have been incubated in LAEV) include Relampago Wheelery, Re:Ciclos, Bicycle Kitchen, CicLAvia, Cafecito Organico, the Food Lobby co-op, the Arroyo Seco Network of Time Banks, and Pacific Electric Workers Co-op. 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 for other current or past lenders.
- Loan Agreement*
See sample loan document below. Feel free to recommend edits as it suits your needs. You can fill out and return signed loan agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 email@example.com
DONATION POSSIBILITIES: And remember, if you’d rather make a tax deductible contribution, CRSP is a 501.c.3 nonprofit ta exempt organization, so your donation is deductible from your income tax. If your potential donation is more complicated, please consult your accountant or tax attorney to determine what your tax advantages could be when you donate large amounts of cash, stocks, bonds or property to a 501.c.3 corporation.
TEMPLATE FOR LOAN AGREEMENT BELOW:
LOAN AGREEMENT WITH CRSP-ELF
I, _________________________, (lender), agree to loan $ _________to CRSP’ Ecological Revolving Loan Fund (ELF) for use in (check one or more):
_____ The development expenses for the green redevelopment of the former auto shop property at 3554 W. First St., now known as the L.A. Ecovillage Community Hub (aka “Songs”)
_____ To pay back current lenders at the expiration of their loan periods.
_____ To provide seed capital for small green co-op oriented businesses at the Community Hub
_____ To acquire new property in the LA Ecovillage two block neighborhood
_____ Any or all of the above.
Term of the loan is (check one or more): ___ months ____1 year __2 years __5 years __Other
_____ I prefer my interest to be paid out _____quarterly or _____annually
_____When the term of my loan has expired, I will let you know if I would like it to continue on an annual review basis or returned in full with the then-due interest.
The interest rate shall be 1.5% at this time (2023) and will be on a simple interest basis. CRSP shall pay me the interest amount every three months starting at the end of the first full quarter after the loan has been deposited, Or CRSP will pay out my interest annually on the quarter closest to when my loan was deposited. Other payment options may be negotiated by mutual consent and included as an amendment to this agreement.
At the end of the initial loan period, the full principal will be due from CRSP along with the then-due interest payment. At the end of the initial loan period, also, I (the lender) will have the option of renewing the loan on a simple-interest basis at an interest rate and term to be determined at that time between CRSP and lender.
In the event that CRSP decides to pay back my loan in part or full prior to the full term of the loan, there will be no interest penalty. In the event that I (the lender) must have my loan paid back prior to its due date, arrangements may be made with CRSP without penalty to me. Generally between 7 and 30 days notice is preferred for early paybacks, depending on the size of the loan. Note that you will receive a 1099Int statement each year for the interest paid you.
Please let us know if it is okay to publicly identify you as a CRSP-ELF lender: ___ Yes ___ No
Please let us know if it is okay to have other potential lenders contact you for reference purposes: ___ Yes ___ No
Agreed: Lender Name (print):____________________________ Signature________________________________
Date: ____________________ Address, City, zip code:________________________________________________
Phone no., & email address:_________________________________________________________________________________________
Agreed by CRSP:___________________________________________________________________________________
Lois Arkin, Executive Director, CRSP Corporate Treasurer Signature Date
Make checks out to CRSP. Mail to: CRSP Attn: Lois 117 Bimini Pl., #221 Los Angeles CA 90004