The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund was established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994 to promote economic revitalization in low-income communities. The CDFI Program is one of the primary ways that the CDFI Fund works to achieve this mission.
The purpose of the CDFI Program is to use federal resources to invest in CDFIs and to build their capacity to serve low-income people and communities that lack access to affordable financial products and services. Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund provides two types of monetary awards to CDFIs - Financial Assistance awards and Technical Assistance awards. CDFIs may use the funds to pursue a variety of goals, including:
- To promote economic development, to develop businesses, to create jobs, and to develop commercial real estate;
- To develop affordable housing and to promote homeownership; and
- To provide community development financial services, such as basic banking services, financial literacy programs, and alternatives to predatory lending.
Since 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.3 billion in FA and TA awards through the CDFI Program.
Types of Awards
Financial Assistance (FA) Awards: The CDFI Fund makes awards of up to $2 million to certified CDFIs under the FA component of the CDFI Program. A CDFI may use the award for financing capital, loan loss reserves, capital reserves, or operations. FA awards are made in the form of equity investments, loans, deposits, or grants, and the CDFI is required to match its FA award dollar-for-dollar with non-federal funds of the same type as the award itself. This requirement enables CDFIs to leverage private capital to meet the demand for affordable financial products and services in economically distressed communities.
Technical Assistance (TA) Awards: TA grants allow certified CDFIs and established entities seeking to become certified to build their capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low-income communities and families. Grants may be used for a wide range of purposes. For example, awardees can use TA funds to purchase equipment; for consulting or contracting services; to pay the salaries and benefits of certain personnel; and/or to train staff or board members. The CDFI Fund makes awards of up to $125,000 under the TA component of the CDFI Program.
To be eligible for an FA award, a CDFI must be certified by the CDFI Fund before it applies for the award. Prospective applicants that are not yet certified must submit a separate certification application to be considered for FA during a funding round.
Both certified and non-certified CDFIs are eligible to apply for TA awards. However, non-certified organizations must be able to become certified within two years after receiving a TA award.
For more information about certification, please see the CDFI Certification page of this website.
| 2015 NOFA Published: || September 2014 |
| 2015 CDFI Program (FA & TA) |
|November 24, 2014 |
| 2015 CDFI Program |
| Summer 2015 |