Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Community Development Financial Institution Fund Announces $123 million in Grants

The U.S. Department of Treasury has announced the availability of $123 million for the 2012 Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI), which provides affordable financial services and promotes financial stability in low-income communities. This funding provides substantial support for local asset-building initiatives – a strategy that has recently received significant attention as a critical tool in neighborhood revitalization efforts. The proposed $123 million is part of CDFI’s FY 2012 funding and is still subject to appropriations, meaning that the availability of funding may substantially decrease. Still, the CDFI Fund has announced the official “Notice of Funding Available” (NOFA) and is encouraging interested Community Development Financial Institutions to begin the application process.
As stated in the announcement, this funding opportunity allows CDFIs to apply for either financial assistance (FA) or technical assistance (TA). Financial assistance must be used to fund a CDFI’s efforts to promote economic and financial capacity in distressed communities by providing local residents with access to credit, savings accounts and other financial services and products that would otherwise not be available. Similarly, financial assistance may be used to help local businesses developing the financing necessary to provide access to nutritious food, which is part of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative. CDFIs may also apply for technical assistance grants, which would support a CDFI’s efforts to become fully certified in providing community-based financial services. For more specific information about this grant opportunity, as well as CDFI certification guidelines, please click here.
The CDFI Fund will be hosting a series of webinars, as well as application workshops, to guide potential applicants through the application process. You can find a list of dates and times here. CDFI applications that align with a community’s overall revitalization strategy will receive priority in the grant review process. Applications are due January 11th, 2012.
Stay tuned for future updates about how CDFI appropriations may affect this initiative.

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