Catalyzing Investment in Urban Sustainability
U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on
Urban Sustainability


Technical Assistance Loans

Program Overview

Technical assistance loans are intended to provide a range of institutions, including municipal, state, and national governments; private-sector entities, including small, medium, and large companies; financial intermediaries; and nonprofit organizations, with initial low-interest or in some cases zero-interest rate capital to finance activities that help the borrower develop the capacity to absorb high-interest rate loans and financing. Technical assistance loans can range in purpose from supporting human development activities like training and programming, institutionalizing performance-based management, to supporting feasibility studies, monitoring activities, and environmental and/or social reviews.

How to Apply this Program

Depending on the lender, technical assistance loans can be accessed by governments and private-sector entities through a number of channels, including public information databases. Often, technical assistance loans are specific to a type of investment, and therefore borrowers have to meet very specific requirements.

Contact Information
U.S. EPA's Center for Environmental Finance 

In 2010, the Metropolitan Caucus, representing the City of Philadelphia and four Pennsylvania counties, established the EnergyWorks program to support owners of commercial and residential properties who seek to make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings. The program offers low-interest loans that are funded with competitive dollars awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings program. The revolving commercial fund is comanaged by The Reinvestment Fund and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. AFC First Financial, administering the State's Keystone Help Loan program, administers residential loans.

Most multilateral development banks, including the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), provide a variety of technical assistance loans to either national, state, or municipal governments, or to private-sector entities. These loans can range in purpose. One example is the Structured and Corporate Finance (SCF) Department of the IDB, which provides direct loans, guarantees, and technical assistance to companies and financial institutions whose investments have a positive impact on the economic and social development of Latin America and the Caribbean.