CDFI Fund Director Leaving to Run Philadelphia Revitalization Group
Program director Jodie Harris to step aside as future of CDFI Certification process remains unclear.
CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris is resigning at the end of April to become president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., a public-private partnership that, among other things, operates a CDFI.
A Philadelphia native, Harris, in a statement on the CDFI Fund’s website, said, “The opportunity to do the work I love, in the city I love, is an exciting, yet unexpected, new chapter.”
Marcia Sigal, the CDFI Fund’s deputy director for policy and programs, will become acting director in May.
The Philadelphia corporation operates PIDC Community Capital—a certified CDFI that, according to its website, “builds sustainable neighborhoods, revitalizes business corridors, and supports business by making investments that create jobs, grow businesses, leverage outside capital, eliminate blight, and provide goods and services to low-income communities throughout Philadelphia.”
Of note, PIDC has received $105 million from the CDFI Fund’s New Market Tax Credit Program during the time Harris has served as director, according to the NMTC annual reports. The CDFI also received NMTC funds before she became director.
Where Things Stand at the CDFI Fund
Harris has served as CDFI director since 2019 and leaves behind an agency that is in a state of flux. The application and certification process has been paused, as Treasury Department officials contemplate an overhaul of the program. The process had been expected to reopen in April, but Harris has said that deadline will not be met.
No new deadline has been announced, with fund officials saying, “The CDFI Fund will resume accepting new CDFI Certification Application submissions and Target Market modification requests when the new CDFI Certification Application is deployed,” in revised Frequently Asked Questions posted on the agency website last week.
Some credit union trade groups have said the extension is needed to better examine the consequences of the proposal. For instance, they say, the potential updates by the fund would lock many credit unions out of the program. And they have criticized the process being used by the Treasury, arguing that the 30-day comment period for proposed changes was inadequate.
Response From Credit Union Trade Group
The CDFI Advisory Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. In preparation for that session, NAFCU Senior Regulatory Affairs Counsel Aminah Moore outlined some of the trade group’s objections to the initial Treasury proposal.
Specifically, Moore criticized the draft proposal for eliminating the use of the NCUA’s Low-Income Designation as an automatic qualifier for membership.
“NAFCU supports the review of the overall picture of the applicant but does not support the elimination of the automatic qualifier as it will be burdensome for smaller institutions that will now need to develop a mission statement and only have a year to come into compliance with the proposed requirements,” she wrote.
Among other issues, Moore also said the proposed certification process asks questions about fees charged by depository institutions—something that the CDFI Fund does not regulate.