About Community Investment Vehicles

Community Investment Vehicles (CIVs) allow residents to pool their financial resources to buy and control neighborhood real estate assets, such as shopping centers or multi-family housing. CIVs provide the legal structure and leverage the necessary capital to give communities greater control, while providing an opportunity to grow their wealth.

CIVs are an alternative to traditional real estate development and financing, which is often initiated by an “outsider” developer who may not be familiar with neighborhood goals – but who does have access to capital from large financial institutions and investors. In short, CIVs have the potential to advance neighborhood-driven development goals through alternative sources of funding and financing.

Our CIV Approach

Community Desk Chicago helps facilitate CIVs by: 

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Producing and maintaining resources and tools to support the design and implementation of CIVs by community organizations and leaders. See our CIV Playbook! 

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Assisting local organizations in assembling a team of subject matter experts and securing resources to create models appropriate for their communities.

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Guiding implementation efforts, including acquisition of properties, fundraising, and back-office support.

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Providing thought leadership in Chicago and nationally related to shared ownership models for commercial real estate. 

Our CIV Playbook 

Community Desk Chicago studied active and emerging CIV models across the country. One result of our research is our “CIV Playbook,” which outlines what it might take to successfully build a CIV in your neighborhood. This document outlines the five key ingredients that are critical to attracting capital, engaging residents, managing properties, and much more. 

This playbook is not just a research report; it’s a practical guide for communities. It includes an implementation guide that offers sample work plans, sample budgets, and an editable Assessment Tool to help you get started. 

Is a CIV right for your neighborhood?

Shared ownership models present promising opportunities for communities to control the real estate assets in their communities – but they are complex to implement. Check out our blog post about assessing whether a CIV is right for your neighborhood.