CDFI Fund Outlines Steps to Take Ahead of FA Award Announcement
Application will be released soon.
Although they have not set a date for the launch of a new CDFI Financial Assistance (FA) application and certification process, CDFI Fund officials last week urged prospective applicants to make sure they have taken the required steps to start that process:
–Complete a Title VI Compliance Worksheet. The CDFI Fund is requiring applicants to complete the worksheet annually with their applications. The worksheet is available now in the Awards Management Information System and additional details will be available when the fund opens the application process.
–Create or update SAM.gov account. SAM is the official website that collects, validates, stores, and disseminates business information about the federal government's trading partners in support of the contract awards, grants, and electronic payment processes. Registration in SAM.gov is required for all prospective applicants. Applicants that previously registered with SAM.gov must verify that their accounts are current, since they need to be renewed annually.
–Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier and an Employer Identification Number. Applicants who do not have an EIN must apply through the IRS.
–Create or update accounts with Grants.gov. Applicants will be required to have an account on Grants.gov and must submit their SF-424 by the deadline that will be specified in the Federal Registernotice.
–Create or update CDFI Awards Management Information System accounts.
One-Time Eligibility Rule Change
For the FY2023-24 combined FA application round, the CDFI Fund will implement a one-time change to allow organizations with pending CDFI certification applications to apply for funding. Normally, the CDFI Fund requires applicants to be certified by the date that a notice of funding availability (NOFA) is published in the Federal Register.
For the upcoming round, prospective CDFIs will be permitted to submit applications even if they have not received a determination of their eligibility.
“This shift will allow those organizations seeking CDFI Certification to apply, utilizing the newly revised CDFI Certification Application, and still maintain eligibility to apply for an FA award,” according to CDFI Fund officials.
The upcoming round will include funds that Congress has appropriated in FY23 and FY24.
While the CDFI Fund has not published the new Certification application, many in the industry expect the final version to differ from the requirements previewed last fall based on the feedback received from stakeholders and the Community Development Advisory Board’s recommendations.
However, it is impossible to know to what degree the final application will change. Even with the most recent round of comments, CDFI Fund officials have suggested they believe their proposed changes made progress in protecting the CDFI brand, so any further changes seem likely to be rule clarifications and slight modifications.
How CUCollaborate Can Support
CUCollaborate provides a full suite of CDFI consulting services to credit unions. We help credit unions obtain and maintain CDFI Certification, apply for CDFI grants, and comply with award reporting requirements. We can also conduct an assessment that helps your organization determine if it meets the requirements for CDFI Certification and can help you develop a plan for meeting them if you are not quite there yet.
Schedule a call with our team today to learn more about the CDFI updates and what it could mean for your credit union.