Raymond James Financial Inc. has started a $20 million equity fund to invest in affordable housing on Native American reservations in the United States, the company said.

The Raymond James Indian Country Tax Credit Fund will invest solely in housing developed by Native American tribes or housing authorities. Only companies and financial institutions will be permitted to invest in the fund, the company said.

"The biggest interest is coming from large regional banks," to help satisfy their CRA requirements, said Scott Simone, director of acquisitions for Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc.

Some $6 million of tax-credit investments has already been targeted for three projects: the Menominee tribe in Wisconsin, and the Red Lake Reservation Housing Authority and White Earth Reservation Housing Authority, both in Minnesota, Mr. Simone said.

Travois, a housing consulting company in St. Paul, will coordinate the flow of capital from the fund to housing developments.

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