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Small Project Loans Program

Background

The Congregational Properties and Loan Commission (CPLC) was established in 1996 to promote the growth of Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) congregations. Since then the CPLC has developed financial assistance programs designed to help congregations purchase land, construct new buildings, acquire existing buildings, undertake major building renovations, add accessibility features, and complete green construction projects.

The CPLC is currently managing 56 building loans with a principal balance of over $7.1 million and unused loan capacity of over $5 million. There are 12 congregations that have UUA loan guarantees. During fiscal 2008, four congregations received First Home Grants and one congregation received a Green Construction Award.

These existing financial assistance programs are functioning well. However, Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations have asked for an additional loan program.

Purpose

The purpose of the program is to provide financing for relatively inexpensive projects in three broad categories: congregational mission, environmental stewardship, and critical/emergency.

Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Elevators, stair lifts and accessibility ramps
  • High quality sound systems
  • Kitchen upgrades
  • Exterior signage
  • Driveway/parking lot paving and lighting
  • Interior wall construction and/or demolition of walls
  • Electrical wiring, plumbing, and fire protection upgrades
  • Floor coverings/carpeting installations and mildew removal
  • Safe playground equipment
  • Energy efficient windows, doors, furnaces, and low flow toilets
  • Brick tuck-pointing
  • Emergency roof repairs

Program Administration

The program will be administered by the UUA director of the Congregational Stewardship Network and the UUA treasurer. They will provide the CPLC with regular updates.

Application Fee

There is a $250 application fee.

Eligible Borrowers

  • Must be an Annual Program Fund Fair Share congregation at both the district and national levels
  • Must have total annual debt service that does not exceed 25 percent of annual income. (see section D.3 of the application.)
  • Must have had a balanced budget for the previous year as well as for the current year
  • Must meet a minimum level of property and liability insurance (see APPENDIX B of the application)
  • Must take a congregational vote to accept a loan (see APPENDIX C of the application)

Term

The term of the loan will be from three to seven years.

Loan Amount

The minimum loan is $15,000 and the maximum loan is $100,000 but must not exceed three-times annual financial commitments from congregants.

Interest Rate

The interest rate is set at the time of closing and will be the greater of (i) 5.00% or (ii) the seven-year Treasuries plus *three*-percent.

Down Payment

A congregation must pay 15 percent of the project costs before a small project loan can be approved.

Example

Imagine a congregation with 100 members and an annual budget of $100,000. Part of the sanctuary roof begins leaking and the problem must be addressed immediately. The estimated cost is $47,060. The congregation pays the first 15 percent ($7,060 and borrows $40,000 from the UUA at an interest rate of 7 percent.

Here are the details:

  • The loan term is seven years.
  • The loan amount is $40,000.
  • Total loan payments are $52,370.
  • Monthly loan payments to the UUA are $623.
  • Annual payments to the UUA are $7,481.

For more information contact congstewardship @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

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