Amid Continued Uncertainty, CDFI Fund Announces FY22 Awards
The CDFI Fund announced its FY22 awards recipients, a list that included 73 credit unions, 18 of which received funds for the first time.
Recipient list includes 73 credit unions, 18 of which received funds for the first time.
The Treasury Department announced this week that 252 CDFIs have received $194.1 million in Financial Assistance Awards for FY22, but outgoing CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris continued to be vague about the timetable for the FY23 funding cycle.
The awards, which included the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, were made to 73 credit unions, 40 depository institutions and holding companies, and two venture capital funds. Fund officials noted that 23 of the recipients also are Minority Depository Institutions, while 18 of the credit unions awarded were receiving funds for the first time.
“Financial Assistance Awards provide CDFIs with capital critical for establishing new businesses, creating jobs, financing affordable housing and increasing homeownership, and providing financial services in low-income and distressed communities nationwide,” Harris said.
Harris is slated to leave the CDFI Fund at the end of April, when she will become president of PIDC Community Capital, a certified CDFI that received $797,900 from the fund this year.
For the FY22 funding round, 429 organizations submitted applications for funds totaling $380.9 million, according to the Treasury.
Future of the CDFI Program
Meanwhile, in appearances at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference and before the Treasury Department’s CDFI Advisory Board, Harris continued to be vague about the next steps for the program.
She noted that when the CDFI Fund released proposed changes to the application and certification process in November, the Treasury received more than 270 unique comment letters.
“We are reading each and every one of those comments,” Harris said at GAC.
Specifically, she told the CDFI Advisory Board that the Treasury received many comments about the decision to remove the NCUA’s Low-Income Designation as acceptable documentary evidence of a primary mission of community development.
In the coming weeks, Harris explained, the CDFI Fund will issue another request for comment on possible changes to the application and certification process, and a clearer timetable will be provided this summer. She did add, however, that she anticipates the application process will reopen this fall.
Further, due to the current application blackout period, it was announced that the Treasury will make combined awards for FY23-FY24.
The New Application
Harris stressed that the new certification application will initially be used for financial institutions that have not been previously certified. In the future, however, it will also be used for any current CDFIs.
At GAC, Harris said she realizes that the new process will require financial institutions to submit more data than they have in the past, but added that it is needed to justify the resources the program is receiving from Congress.
“Data will continue to be front and center,” she said.