CDFI Fund on Track for Late Fall Re-Launch
Learn what the CDFI Fund revealed about its updated certification and application process and how credit unions may be impacted.
Rollout of updated CDFI Certification process has been questioned and criticized by credit union trade groups.
After delays that have frustrated the financial services industry, the CDFI program is set to reopen late this fall, acting director Marcia Sigal said this week.
“The CDFI Fund recognizes that the delay in reopening the CDFI Certification Application submission portal has caused some questions” among financial institutions, her statement reads.
“As Acting Director,” she continued, “I will ensure that CDFI Fund programs and initiatives will continue and progress during this time of transition as the U.S. Department of the Treasury works to permanently fill the Director role.”
Sigal became acting director following the departure of former Director Jodie Harris. Previously, she worked as the fund’s deputy director of policy and programs.
Timeline of Events
The CDFI program went into a blackout period last year, with no applications for certification or recertification being accepted, as fund officials contemplated an overhaul. When they issued proposed changes to the application process, credit union trade groups were outspoken in their criticism, saying the new requirements might disqualify many credit unions from being certified.
Earlier this month, a fund advisory committee formed to review the process also criticized the application.
Meanwhile, financial services trade groups continued to ask for more information about how and when the process would be reopened.
Most recently, Greg Mesack, NAFCU’s vice president of government relations, met with Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, to discuss CDFI Certification, among other things.
“Mesack stressed that after almost a year in a blackout period, the fund needs to start accepting applications soon,” NAFCU officials said, in a statement. Both NAFCU and CUNA have been urging credit union officials to meet with their lawmakers during Congress’s August recess.
What Else Did the CDFI Fund Reveal?
This week, CDFI officials provided some additional updated information, including that:
–When applications are again accepted, the updated version will go into effect immediately for organizations seeking certification as a new CDFI. Institutions with an existing certification will have a grace period before they must submit the newly revised application in order to be recertified.
–The application round that will open later this fall still will combine FY23 and FY24 funding for the CDFI and Native CDFI Assistance Program.
–For the upcoming round, the CDFI Fund intends to implement a one-time process change that will allow organizations with pending CDFI Certification applications to apply for the combined round of funding.
–The Small Dollar Loan Program also will open this fall and will combine FY23 and FY24 funding.
–Awards from the CDFI Capital Magnet Fund will be announced this fall—overall, 144 organizations submitted applications seeking more than $1.1 billion in funding.
–Approvals for the Bond Guarantee Program will be announced in September.
–All organizations that received funds from the CDFI Fund or had an active CDFI Fund award between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, will have to submit an SF-425 Federal Financial Report through their Awards Management Information System (AMIS) account by October 15, 2023.