For the Public Good

Pro Bono Legal Services Reduce Costs for our Nonprofit Partners

When Christine McGuinness was named to Crain’s New York Business 2022 Notable Women in Law list, we were pleased, but not at all surprised.

Christine heads the New York City office of Schiff Hardin LLP, and has worked in real estate law for 30 years. She’s also one of 20 attorneys from 7 firms who provide no-cost legal services to the Leviticus Fund for our loan closings. She’s been supporting us in this way for over ten years.

These pro bono services allow us to keep the cost of borrowing money from Leviticus low. Though the transactions are time-consuming and complicated, last year Christine stepped up to represent us three times:

  • 2178 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn – a 16-unit low-rise built in 1910 in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville neighborhood. In 1980, it was incorporated as a Housing Development Fund Corporation cooperative (HDFC), and recently, its residents were just weeks away from losing their homes. In May, Leviticus closed a ten-year permanent loan of $383,000, including $333,000 to pay off a bridge loan from Habitat for Humanity of NYC and Westchester County, and $50,000 to support the cost of long-deferred repairs.
  • Anderson Ave HDFC in the Bronx – New York City’s HDFC program, created in the 1990s, turned neglected buildings into co-ops to create opportunities for low-income residents to become homeowners. But the vicious cycle of deferred maintenance and tax arrears sometimes causes a loan default. In this case, Leviticus is helping families stay in their homes by providing a $578,000 permanent loan for this 49-unit, moderate-income, limited equity cooperative at 1045 Anderson Avenue. The Leviticus Fund is the lead lender, with a $250,000 participation from Habitat for Humanity. The Loan is part of a stabilization effort that will preserve affordable housing and sustainability for the co-op.
  • Concern Housing, Inc. – The recipient of the 2021 Cornerstone Award from Leviticus, Concern Housing has a strong track record of providing high-quality supportive services to individuals with physical and mental disabilities. Leviticus provided a $4.6 million acquisition and pre-development loan for a property at 2602 Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. The project will create 67 new affordable housing units for low-income seniors in this expensive market and provide supportive services and designated units for formerly homeless individuals. Leviticus sold a $1.1 million participation in this loan to Partners for the Common Good.

In each closing Christine provided efficient, diligent, and dependable representation for the Leviticus Fund. But these projects also deliver a multiplier effect – homeowners, families and entire neighborhoods who benefit from these community development efforts.

We’re so grateful for Christine and for all the attorneys who provide pro bono counsel to the Leviticus Fund, and their willingness to donate their talents in service of the public interest.