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U.S. Department of the Treasury: Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program

Deadline: April 4, 2018

The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) works to address the lack of access to capital that many small businesses or critical community projects face. It also works to provide unbanked or underserved Americans with affordable financial products and services. The CDFI Program invests federal resources, which are matched with private funding, in CDFIs working to serve low-income and under-served people and communities. CDFIs are financial institutions that specialize in serving individuals and communities that are under-served by traditional financial institutions. The CDFI Program offers both Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awards to CDFIs. These competitive awards support and enhance the ability of these organizations to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

  • Financial Assistance (FA) Awards: Awards are made in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits and credit union shares to enable awardees to build their financial capacity to lend to their markets. FA award funds can be expended for activities serving commercial real estate, small business, microenterprise, community facilities, consumer financial products, consumer financial services, commercial financial services, affordable housing, intermediary lending to nonprofits and CDFIs, and other lines of business as deemed appropriate by the CDFI Fund in the following five categories: (i) financial products; (ii) financial services; (iii) loan loss reserves; (iv) development services; and (v) capital reserves.
  • Persistent Poverty Counties – Financial Assistance (PPC-FA) Awards: PPC-FA awards will be provided as a supplement to FA awards; therefore, only those Applicants that are selected to receive an FA award through the CDFI Program FY 2018 Funding Round will be eligible to receive a PPC-FA award. PPC-FA awards can be in the form of loans, grants, equity investment, deposits and credit union shares. The form of the PPC-FA award is based on the form of the matching funds that the applicant includes in its application. Matching funds are required for PPC-FA awards, must be from non-Federal sources, and cannot have been used as matching funds for any other Federal award.
  • Disability Funds – Financial Assistance (DF-FA) Awards: DF-FA awards will be provided as a supplement to FA awards; therefore, only those Applicants that have been selected to receive an FA award through the CDFI Program FY 2018 Funding Round will be eligible to receive a DF-FA award. DF-FA awards can be in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits and credit union shares. Awards can only be expended for the same five activities that are eligible for FA awards to directly or indirectly benefit individuals with disabilities. The DF-FA recipient must close financial products for the primary purpose of directly or indirectly benefiting people with disabilities in an amount equal to or greater than 85 percent of the total DF-FA provided. Eligible DF-FA financing activities may include, among other activities, loans to develop or purchase affordable, accessible, and safe housing; loans to provide or facilitate employment opportunities; and loans to purchase assistive technology. A person with a disability is defined as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.”
  • Healthy Food Financing Initiative-Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) Awards: HFFI-FA awards will be provided as a supplement to FA awards; therefore, only those applicants that have been selected to receive an FA award through the CDFI Program FY 2018 Funding Round will be eligible to receive an HFFI-FA award. HFFI-FA awards can be in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits and credit union shares. Awards can only be expended for the same five activities that are eligible for FA awards. Awardees must deploy loans, equity investments, and similar financing activities, including the purchase of loans and the provision of loan guarantees for Healthy Food Retail Outlets (e.g., grocery stores, mobile food retailers, farmers markets) and Healthy Food Non-Retail Outlets (e.g., wholesale food outlets, wholesale cooperatives, entities that produce or distribute healthy foods for eventual retail sale, or entities that provide consumer education regarding healthy food consumption).
  • Technical Assistance (TA) grants: Grants may be used to increase awardee capacity to serve their markets. TA grant funds can be expended for the following seven eligible activity categories: (i) compensation–personnel services; (ii) compensation–fringe benefits; (iii) professional service costs; (iv) travel costs; (v) training and education costs; (vi) equipment and other capital expenditures; and (vii) supplies.

Note that the form of FA, PPC-FA, DF-FA, and HFFI-FA awards is based on the form of the matching funds that the applicant includes in its application. Dollar-for-dollar matching funds are required for FA and HFFI-FA awards, must be from non-Federal sources, and cannot have been used as matching funds for any other federal award.

Amount: Varies by type of award:

  • FA-Category I/ Small and/or Emerging CDFI Assistance (SECA): A total of $19,000,000 is available to fund up to 40 awards, ranging from $200,000-$700,000 and averaging $475,000-$478,000.
  • FA-Category II/Core: A total of $117,600,000 is available to fund up to 160 awards, ranging from $500,000-$1,000,000 and averaging $735,000-$810,000.
  • Persistent Poverty Counties – Financial Assistance: A total of $18,400,000 is available to fund up to 100 awards, ranging from $100,000-$300,000 and averaging from $184,00-$210,000.
  • Disability Funds – Financial Assistance: A total of $2,500,000 is available to fund up to 10 awards, ranging from $100,000-$500,000 and averaging at $250,000.
  • TA awards: A total of $4,000,000 is available to fund up to 35 awards, ranging from $10,000-$125,000 and averaging $114,000-$116,000.
  • HFFI-FA awards: A total of $22,000,000 is available to fund up to 10 awards, ranging from $500,000-$5,000,000 and averaging $1,700,000-$2,200,000.

Note: DF-FA and HFFI-FA appropriation will be allocated in one competitive round between this CDFI solicitation and the Native American Community Development Financial Institutions (NACA) Assistance Program solicitations.

Eligibility: Certified CDFIs (entities that the CDFI Fund has officially notified that it meets all CDFI certification requirements), Certifiable CDFIs (entities that submit a certification application to the CDFI Fund by the applicable deadline, but are not yet officially certified at the time of Financial Assistance application submission), and Emerging CDFIs (entities that have not submitted a CDFI Certification Application but that demonstrate it has an acceptable plan to meet certification requirements by the end of its performance period, or another date that the CDFI Fund selects).

Category I applicants (SECA) are Certified or Certifiable CDFIs that request $700,000 or less in FA funds and either: 1) have total assets in the following amounts: Insured depository institutions and depository institution holding companies: up to $250 million, insured credit unions: up to $10 million, venture capital funds: up to $10 million, other CDFIs: up to $5 million; or 2) have begun operations on or after January 1, 2014.

Category II applicants (CORE) are Certified or Certifiable CDFIs that meet the SECA requirements stated above, that request more than $700,000 in award funds, regardless of its total assets and/or years in operation.

Eligibility requirements are specific for each award type (TA and FA); refer to the solicitation for further specific eligibility details.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=300354

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