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January 11, 2024

CHEFA INSIGHTS for January 2024

Insight Highlights

2023 Review: A Message from our Executive Director

Serving Our Community: CHEFA’s Revolving Loan Fund Expands to All Nonprofits

Advancing Opportunities: CHEFA/CHESLA 2024 Legislative Agenda

CHEFA Insights 2024 cover photo

2023 Review: A Message from our Executive Director

A Message from our Executive Director:

As we begin the new year, I am filled with gratitude and pride as I reflect on CHEFA’s meaningful accomplishments in 2023. Our commitment to enhancing the welfare and prosperity of the citizens of the State of Connecticut by providing financial assistance to the state’s non-profit entities has driven our efforts and initiatives throughout the year.

As Executive Director, I am happy to share some of our impactful achievements.

CHEFA provided access to more than $318 million in critical tax-exempt bond financing for healthcare and educational entities throughout Connecticut. Of this total, $112.385 million was for financings in the health care sector $146.997 million for the independent school sector, and $58.96 million for the higher education sector. Importantly, CHEFA experienced a historic first with the completion of a $14 million transaction on behalf of the American School for the Deaf (ASD). ASD is the oldest permanent school for the deaf in the United States and the first school for children with disabilities in the western hemisphere. These bond proceeds are being used to support the construction of two single-floor dormitories with a total of 60 beds and two multi-purpose sports courts. This project represents a significant effort to enhance access to education for Connecticut residents and CHEFA is proud to be a part of it.

As one of the few entities providing grant funding to nonprofits for capital and programmatic needs on a statewide basis, CHEFA continued to support these organizations by awarding more than $3 million in grants in the healthcare, childcare, educational, and cultural sectors throughout Connecticut. Included in this funding was $1 million dedicated to Health Equity with grants to six organizations focused on this important area.

During the 2023 legislative session CHEFA continued to build meaningful working relationships with stakeholders and establish itself as a reliable partner in the State’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts. This was evidenced by the introduction of 25 bills that would have directly impacted CHEFA or its subsidiaries. In total, CHEFA saw related legislation introduced from 6 different committees including Higher Education; Finance, Revenue, and Bonding; Banking; Government Administration and Elections; Human Services; and Aging. Importantly, CHEFA won the passage of SB 1104 (PA 23-11). This will provide CHEFA the flexibility needed to meet the changing needs of our clients and other 501(c)(3) organizations by giving CHEFA the ability to provide loan or bond financing for programs, services, and other mission-focused initiatives.

As we step into 2024, the horizon is bright with opportunities for growth and impact. CHEFA remains steadfast in its dedication to supporting educational institutions, healthcare providers, childcare providers, and other eligible not-for-profit entities. Together, we will continue to focus on assisting non-profits, making a lasting difference in the lives of the citizens of Connecticut.

Warm regards,

Jeanette W. Weldon
Executive Director
Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA)

Serving Our Community: CHEFA’s Revolving Loan Fund Expands to All Nonprofits

In 2023, CHEFA’s Revolving Loan Fund Program was modified to serve all nonprofits in Connecticut. In prior funding cycles, only existing CHEFA clients were eligible for financing through this Program. This year we closed two loans with nonprofits that had no prior financing relationships with CHEFA: Silvermine Guild of Artists, Inc. of New Canaan, CT and 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm, Inc. of Bloomfield, CT. Both organizations benefited from the affordable financing terms of the Program for financing critical capital needs. Funding is still available for capital projects and applications can be submitted at any time. The Program offers loans up to $50,000 for a rate of 3.75% over 60 months.

If your organization is interested learning more about this Program and how it could address your financing needs, please contact Dan Kurowski, Manager of Program Development at

Advancing Opportunities: CHEFA/CHESLA 2024 Legislative Agenda

CHEFA is preparing to build on the successes of the past year by pursuing several legislative initiatives that will support Connecticut’s economy, workforce, and increase access to post-secondary education.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be working on in 2024:

Increasing access to childcare:

Dollar-for-dollar there is no better investment in Connecticut’s workforce than those made in supporting childcare providers throughout our state. CHEFA’s Workforce Investments Supporting Early Childhood Education (WISE) Tax Credit Program will provide a targeted support to childcare centers in childcare deserts. This will be accomplished by creating a new tax credit for businesses that make investments that support the recruitment and retention of vital staff in these centers.

The WISE Program is designed to not only enhance access to working capital for childcare providers, but to also incentivize public-private partnerships and provide businesses with a tangible benefit for investing in communities throughout Connecticut.

Increasing Affordable Access to Postsecondary Education:

As we navigate the educational landscape of 2024, these initiatives mark CHESLA’s commitment to increasing access to postsecondary education for all Connecticut residents.

In response to the evolving needs of our workforce, CHESLA will be introducing the Workforce Student Loan Subsidy Program. This new program, modeled after the CHESLA Alliance District Teacher Loan Subsidy Program, is designed to help support the State’s workforce development efforts aimed at recruiting and retaining employees in shortage areas by providing an interest rate subsidy for eligible individuals when they refinance their private loans with CHESLA.

This program will be a powerful tool as the State works to recruit and retain employees and recent graduates.

Additionally, CHESLA will be pursuing legislation that allows students under eighteen to access CHESLA’s student loans. This will bring CHESLA into alignment with its counterparts in other states and

the federal government. This will help ensure that more aspiring students have the financial support they need to pursue higher education, setting the stage for a more inclusive and accessible educational landscape.

CHESLA will also be pursuing legislation that will allow for the Special Capital Reserve Fund on its bond issues to be funded with a letter of credit or surety policy. This means more resources directed to student loans, making education even more accessible.

Together, We Shape the Future:

Each proposal is a step forward, a promise of brighter opportunities, and a testament to CHEFA’s and CHESLA’s dedication to enhancing the welfare and prosperity of Connecticut’s residents. We are excited to build on the progress of 2023 and look forward to helping shape a future where everyone in our State has the tools to thrive.