The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund successfully concluded its 2007 national award announcements. Through our programs, we allocated $3.9 billion in tax credit authority and awarded $42 million to a combined total of almost 200 organizations that are committed to investing in and providing financial services to low-income communities and individuals across the country.
On behalf of the CDFI Fund staff, I want to thank U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and Treasury Deputy Secretary Robert M. Kimmitt for their support of the CDFI Fund's mission. Secretary Paulson and Deputy Secretary Kimmitt demonstrated this commitment by joining me in making our 2007 announcements in Chicago and New Orleans, and seeing first-hand how our programs are making an impact in these cities and in rural Montana. They recognized the positive results that will stem from these 2007 awards, including capital investment in our communities that will result in job creation and economic growth, mortgage foreclosure prevention programs, and facilitating banking relationships with people who do not currently have such relationships.
On September 14, Secretary Paulson and I announced the 2007 CDFI Program Awards, totaling $27.3 million, at the offices of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHSC), which is a NeighborWorks America organization. Secretary Paulson highlighted the President's mortgage foreclosure avoidance initiative: "The President asked Treasury to focus on helping struggling homeowners keep their primary residence, and we will rely on the help of CDFI organizations like Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago to reach borrowers who are likely to have trouble, and work with them to help them keep their homes." As part of the 2007 announcement, NHSC received almost $1 million from the CDFI Fund.
During this visit, Secretary Paulson met with Ms. Regina Garrett (above, left to right: Garrett, Paulson, Reed) and learned how NHSC's counseling and refinancing allowed her to keep her home. Secretary Paulson emphasized how Ms. Garrett's success story serves as a great example of the importance of being pro-active to avoid foreclosure, and he encouraged homeowners who are concerned about meeting payments to follow her example and contact a counselor early in order to learn as quickly as possible about options to stay in their homes.
On October 5 in New Orleans, Deputy Secretary Kimmitt joined me and other CDFI Fund staff and Chairman Don Powell, the President's Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, to announce the 61 organizations selected to receive $3.9 billion in tax credit authority for use in low-income communities through the 2007 round of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The CDFI Fund demonstrated its continued commitment to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina by selecting the Gulf Coast for the 2007 announcement so as to highlight the 11 organizations receiving $400 million in NMTC authority for specific use in the redevelopment in the Gulf Opportunity Zone. We made the announcement at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center and learned how the NMTC Program is providing working capital for the hospital's operations and key incentives for investors to support the reconstruction of damaged areas of the hospital.
In September, Deputy Secretary Kimmitt was in Montana to see how the CDFI Fund is helping rural homeowners with mortgage foreclosure prevention, and providing financial services in Native American communities. In Missoula, he participated in a roundtable discussion with Montana HomeOwnership Network (MHN) staff, Mayor Stebbins, and a homebound, special needs client who shared her compelling mortgage foreclosure prevention story. Deputy Secretary Kimmitt presented MHN with a certificate recognizing its 2007 CDFI Program Award for $65,000, and toured a nine-unit housing complex that is part of a MHN neighborhood stabilization project. MHN is a rural member of NeighborWorks America.
The next day, Deputy Secretary Kimmitt traveled to Pablo to recognize Sovereign Leasing and Finance Company, Inc. (SLF), which received a $150,000 award from the CDFI Fund to expand its counseling and financial services in the Native American community of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes on the Flathead Reservation of Western Montana. Gary and Chris Cote, owners of Cross Diamond Boom Service, told how SLF's affordable loan allowed them to purchase of a new crane with a heavier lift capacity, and CDFI Fund staff witnessed the results of this business success story by visiting a construction site where the crane was in action. This is the fourth year that SLF has received an award from the CDFI Fund Đ for a combined total of over $575,000. The CDFI Fund is delighted that, in five short years, the number of Native CDFIs has grown from 14 to 43 Đ a 307 percent increase.
In addition to the growth and impact of our Native CDFIs, we also believe that it is important to build a strong foundation of knowledge documenting the overall role, impact, and future possibilities of all CDFIs. As such, the CDFI Fund recently announced our first-ever ŇCDFI Fund Policy Research Initiative.Ó We received forty-four research proposals from a wide range of experts from academic institutions, think tanks, Federal Reserve Banks, non-profits, and foundations. Twelve of these proposals were selected for funding after a competitive review based on quality, methodology, relevance, and timeliness to the CDFI Fund in particular and CDFIs in general:
- The Role of CDFIs in Addressing the Subprime Mortgage Market;
- The Role of CDFIs in Home Ownership Finance;
- An Analysis of Successful CDFI Mortgage Lending Strategies;
- Mainstreaming Acquisition Loans for Cooperative Manufactured Housing Communities;
- Evaluating the CDFI Fund's Investment in Native CDFIs;
- Emerging Trends in CDFI Sustainability;
- Riskiness of Sector-Dependence in CDFIs;
- CDFIs and the Segmentation of Underserved Markets;
- Community Development Venture Capital in Rural Communities;
- Examining the Relationship Between the Small Business Lending Patterns of CDFIs and Mainstream Financial Institutions;
- Assessment of CDFI Support of Supermarket Development; and
- Assessing Community Development Loan Funds' Systematic Impacts.
The research projects will be completed by May 2008, and the CDFI Fund anticipates that it will organize and conduct three industry roundtables in the summer of 2008 to present and discuss the findings. This initiative will highlight these accomplishments and help outline a path for our greater result-based future success.
In closing, I want to recognize and thank all of the CDFI Fund staff for their hard work over the past fiscal year to make our 2007 national awards possible. Their dedication to the CDFI Fund's vision Đ an America in which all people have access to affordable credit, capital and financial services Đ allows us to make an impact at places like Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, Montana Homeownership Network, and Sovereign Leasing and Financing, and touch the lives of people like Regina Garrett and the Cotes