Honolulu, HI - Director Donna J. Gambrell of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) traveled to Honolulu to join U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa to announce awards totaling $11,847,579 for 35 Native Community Development Financial Institutions (Native CDFIs) and organizations serving economically distressed Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native communities) across the nation. The organizations awarded are headquartered in 17 states and serve mostly rural communities.
The awards are being made through the fiscal year 2011 round of the CDFI Fund's Native Initiatives Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance component, the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). The awards will assist financial institutions with a primary mission of serving Native communities to increase their lending services and financial products, as well as to build their own internal capacity to serve their target markets.
Director Gambrell made the announcement at the 10th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention, a yearly gathering of community members, organizations, policy makers, legislative representatives, and federal agencies interested in Native Hawaiian community development. Seven Hawaiian organizations received awards this year, the most of any state in the 2011 round.
"The awards announced today clearly demonstrate the successful growth of the Native CDFI movement across the country," said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. "We're here in Hawaii to celebrate this success and the seven awardees dedicated to economically empowering underserved Native Hawaiian communities."
Senator Inouye praised the awards granted to organizations in Hawaii, saying that he was "very pleased that these financial institutions are receiving the much needed support. The Native Hawaiian community was hit especially hard by the recession and these funds will help small business secure credit and create new jobs. The money will also help families find a home. I am very grateful that the President continues to help the Native people of his home state who are working hard to find stable financial footing."
Congresswoman Hanabusa agreed on the local impact of the awards, saying that "our country's economic situation has been difficult for many of Hawaii's families, especially those in our Native Hawaiian communities. I am pleased to join Donna J. Gambrell, director of the U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in announcing more than $1.5 million in awards to help community-based financial institutions provide affordable loans and financial services to Native Hawaiian families, while promoting the growth of our local economy."
The Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance awardees were selected after a competitive review of 88 applications received by the CDFI Fund from organizations across the nation that requested, in total, nearly $35 million in funding under the FY 2011 round of the NACA Program.
About the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program)
Through the NACA Program, the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of existing and developing private, for-profit and non-profit community-based lending organizations known as Native Community Development Financial Institutions. These organizations serve low-income Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian people and communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. The CDFI Fund receives applications on an annual basis and awards funds through a competitive process. The NACA Program is one component of the CDFI Fund's greater Native Initiatives program, which has been actively assisting Native financial institutions through financial and technical assistance and training for nearly a decade.
2011 NACA Program Awards
For more information on the NACA Program, please visit www.cdfifund.gov.