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Deadline: November 24, 2014

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

Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. CDFIs may use the funds to pursue a variety of goals, including:

  • To promote economic development, to develop businesses, to create jobs, and to develop commercial real estate
  • To develop affordable housing and to promote homeownership
  • To provide community development financial services, such as basic banking services, financial literacy programs, and alternatives to predatory lending.

Awards are made in three categories:

  1. Financial Assistance (FA) awards: Funds may be used for financing capital, loan loss reserves, capital reserves, or operations. Awards are made in the form of loans, grants, deposits, and equity investments.
  2. Technical Assistance (TA) grants: Grants allow certified CDFIs and established entities seeking to become certified to build their capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low-income communities and families. 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.
  3. Healthy Food Financing Initiative – Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) Awards: CDFIs may apply for funding to expand their lending activity and other investments in healthy food business enterprises in underserved areas as grocery stores, mobile food retailers, farmers markets, cooperatives, corner stores, and bodegas. 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 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. HFFI-FA awards can be expended for the same five activities that are eligible for FA awards.

Amount: Total: $186,000,000; Total FA-Category I/Small or Emerging CDFI Assistance (SECA): $19,000,000 with a range of $100,000-$700,000; Total FA-Category II/Core: $128,000,000 with a range of $100,000-$2,000,000; Total TA: $4,000,000 with a range of $10,000-$125,000; Healthy Food Financing Initiative: $35,000,000 with a range of $500,000-$5,000,000.

Note that the form of FA and HFFI-FA awards is based on the form of the matching funds that the applicant includes in its application. 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.

Eligibility: To be eligible for an FA award, organizations must be either a certified CDFI, have applied for certification that is pending. Organizations that are Emerging CDFIs may only apply for TA grants.

Link: http://www.cdfifund.gov/news_events/CDFI-2014-37-CDFI_Fund_Opens_FY_2015_Funding_Round.asp

Note: An in-person CDFI and NACA Program Application Workshop will be held in Washington DC on October 2, 2014. The CDFI Fund will provide pre-recorded webinars for applicants on its website in the near future. Additionally, the Fund is conducting three targeted live webcasts to provide a forum to answer applicant questions about NACA program applications as follows:

  • CDFI Program Applicants: Unregulated Entities: October 7, 2014 from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MST
  • CDFI Program Applicants Regulated Entities: October 7, 2014 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. MST
  • Matching Funds (CDFI & NACA Programs All Applicant Types): November 4, 2014 from 11:00 am-12:00 p.m. MST
  • Make-Up Session (CDFI & NACA Programs, All Applicant Types): November 4, 2014 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. MST

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