In May, I officially stepped into the role of Acting Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) but, I am not new to the CDFI Fund. For the last five years, I have served as the CDFI Fund’s Deputy Director of Policy and Programs managing the implementation of assistance programs and policies to increase the impact of the CDFI Fund’s programs in distressed and underserved communities. As Acting Director, I will ensure that CDFI Fund programs and initiatives will continue and progress during this time of transition as the U.S. Department of the Treasury works to permanently fill the Director role.
Of great interest to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and the entire CDFI stakeholder community is the continuing work to revise the CDFI Certification Application, which is still on track to be released in the fall.
The new Application will go into effect immediately for those organizations that are seeking certification as a new CDFI. Those CDFIs with an existing certification will enter a grace period before they must submit the newly revised Application in order to be recertified. CDFIs should use this period to assess their ability to meet the revised criteria. Detailed information about deadlines, guidance material and information on the new Application, Annual Certification and Data Collection Report (ACR) and abbreviated Transaction Level Report (TLR) will be provided, along with training sessions by CDFI Fund staff.
In addition, the CDFI Fund is working on a number of assistance award programs. Please keep reading for updates on application round openings and award announcements for all of the CDFI Fund’s programs.
Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). The fiscal year (FY) 2023 round of the BEA Program, which includes both FY 2022 and FY 2023 funding, opened on March 31, 2023. Applications were due June 2023. A total of $70 million in funding is being made available and the CDFI Fund will announce awards in September 2023.
Capital Magnet Fund (CMF). The FY 2023 CMF round opened January 18, 2023. The deadline to submit Applications was March 21, 2023. A total of 144 organizations submitted applications requesting more than $1.1 billion in funding. Some key changes were made to this round of the program to provide greater opportunity for Applicants to address affordable housing needs and were detailed in the application opening announcement. Awards will be announced in fall 2023.
In addition, the CDFI Fund is contemplating additional Capital Magnet Fund changes and, on July 7, 2023, published a request for information in the Federal Register asking for input on a number of CMF-related topics, including program operations, priorities, and compliance. Comments are due by September 5, 2023.
CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BG Program). The FY 2023 application round opened April 25, 2023. Applications were due June 9, 2023. The CDFI Fund will announce the approved bond guarantees in September 2023.
CDFI Equitable Recovery Program (CDFI ERP). On April 10, 2023, Vice President Kamala Harris and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo announced that 604 CDFIs were awarded in excess of $1.73 billion in CDFI ERP awards. The CDFI Fund is currently in the process of finalizing Assistance Agreements with ERP Award Recipients and will begin disbursing awards shortly. Information for ERP Award Recipients is available on the CDFI Fund website at www.cdfifund.gov/erp. Last year, the CDFI Fund requested information on criteria used to designate Minority Lending Institutions (MLIs). A total of 25 comments were submitted in response to this request. The CDFI Fund is in the process of reviewing these comments to formulate MLI designation criteria, which will be released in 2024.
Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) & Native CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). On February 28, 2023, 252 CDFIs received $194.1 million in FY 2022 Financial Assistance (FA) awards. The FY 2022 Technical Assistance (TA) awards were announced in September 2022. Since then, the CDFI Fund has solicited comments on the FA and TA Applications, as well as the application evaluation process. Comments were due to the CDFI Fund on May 12, 2023. The CDFI Fund will utilize the input gathered from this process to inform the combined FYs 2023 and 2024 CDFI Program and NACA Program application round, which will open in late fall of 2023.
The CDFI Fund recognizes that the delay in reopening the CDFI Certification Application submission portal has caused some questions among those organizations that had intended to apply for new CDFI Certification in time to submit an FA application for the upcoming CDFI Program or NACA Program Application round.
For this coming Application round, the CDFI Fund intends to implement a one-time process change to allow organizations with pending CDFI Certification Applications to apply in the combined FYs 2023-2024 Round. Typically, the CDFI Fund requires FA Applicants to be Certified CDFIs as of the date the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) is published in the Federal Register. This change will allow those organizations seeking CDFI Certification to apply, utilizing the revised Application, and still maintain eligibility to apply for an FA award. Additional information on this process change will be detailed in the NOFA opening the FYs 2023 and 2024 CDFI Program and NACA Program Application Round.
New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The calendar year (CY) 2022 round of the program opened on November 18, 2022. Applications were due on January 26, 2023. A total of $5 billion in New Market Tax Credit allocation is available for award. For the CY 2022 round, 197 Community Development Entities (CDEs) submitted applications requesting NMTC allocations totaling $14.8 billion. The CDFI Fund anticipates opening the CY 2023 round in fall of 2023 very soon after the CY 2022 Allocations are announced.
Small Dollar Loan Program (SDL Program). The third round of the SDL Program will open in the fall of this year and will be a combined FY 2023 and FY 2024 funding round.
The CDFI Fund will continue providing program-by-program updates. Sign up for our GovDelivery service to ensure you receive timely information on CDFI Fund activities.