Bank of America Merrill Lynch is working to get more Americans off Skid Row.

The investment bank provided more than $1.6 billion in loans, tax credit equity investments and other real estate development solutions in the first half of 2013 via its Community Development Banking business. 

The numbers for the first half of 2013 doubled the lending and investing for the same period in 2013. BofAML (BAC) has helped create more than 6,500 affordable housing units. 

The 2013 commitment includes $16.1 million in construction financing and $16.2 million in indirect tax credit equity to develop 69 studio units for formerly homeless people in the Los Angeles neighborhood, Skid Row.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 4.5 million housing units are needed to meet the demand for affordable housing in the U.S. 

“As these big increases in loans and investments show, demand for affordable housing, charter schools and other community development projects remains strong,” said Maria Barry, community development banking executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

The Skid Row Housing Trust is developing the New Pershing project, which operates more than 1,500 units of permanent supportive housing for some of the poorest residents in Los Angeles. 

"The New Pershing will provide much-needed supportive housing for our city’s most vulnerable residents and allow us to preserve a historic and architectural jewel that enhances a downtown neighborhood," said Mike Alvidrez, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust. 

"We value our relationship with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which will enable us to preserve the historic façade of this building while creating new apartments and ground-level retail space," he added. 

BofAML is providing more than $15.2 million in loans and nearly $24.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit investments for Joe Moretti Apartments in Miami. Related Urban is developing a new 13-story building that have 116 apartments for senior residents at or below 60% of area median income. 

"The Joe Moretti Apartments will help address a significant need for convenient, affordable senior housing in this community, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch is playing a vital role in making this development a reality," said Alberto Milo, senior vice president and principal at Related Urban. "Through this financial support, seniors will have high-quality homes close to public transportation, neighborhood shopping and entertainment."

BofAML is a leader in affordable housing finance nationally, having provided financing for more than 114,000 units over the past eight years. 

Community Development Banking includes the Bank of America Community Development Corp., which serves as a development partner and provides debt and equity financing for properties in low- and moderate-income communities across the country.