Welcome to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund's website. My name is Donna Gambrell and I am the Director of the Department of the Treasury's CDFI Fund. I was appointed to the position on November 26, 2007, for a three-year term.

I appreciate this great opportunity to serve as Director during a time in which the CDFI Fund's efforts to build the capacities of community-based financial institutions are significantly enhanced as a result of an increased appropriations in Fiscal Year 2008.

Throughout Fiscal Year 2008, we will continue the CDFI Fund's commitment to increase access to capital and financial services to low-income individuals and economically distressed communities. The CDFI Fund plays a key role in providing economic development opportunities to such people and communities through its monetary programs, which include the CDFI Program (Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance), the Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program, and the Native Initiatives, as well as its tax credit program, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program. The increased FY 2008 appropriation will allow us to better address the capacity of qualified institutions to serve economically distressed communities.

In Fiscal Year 2008, the CDFI Fund was appropriated $94 million, as compared to $54 million in Fiscal Year 2007. The majority of the additional funding will be used to increase the total amount of funds for our monetary programs, and thus will produce additional economic development impact in the nation's urban, rural and Native communities.

During the upcoming weeks, I will be working with the CDFI Fund staff to implement our priorities and the FY 2008 strategic plan.

My goals for this Fiscal Year include the following:

    All of our award decisions are to be made in a timely manner.
    Through the increased FY 2008 appropriation, the CDFI Fund will better meet the demand for financial and technical assistance.
    The pool of qualified applicants to our monetary programs will be expanded to ensure that the CDFI Fund is reaching a wider variety of organizations.
    The CDFI Fund will increase its role as a "knowledge leader," providing more of the data that we collect to the public, as well as distributing analyses of the data.
    We will continue to increase our efforts to ensure that awardees are in compliance with the terms and conditions of their awards.

In addition to our monetary programs, we are currently accepting applications for the Calendar Year 2008 round of the NMTC Program. We began conducting application workshops for the NMTC Program this week, and will be holding sessions across the country through January 18. In addition, on January 16, CDFI Fund staff will host an application webcast as an alternative for potential applicants who are not able to attend the workshops in person.

With mortgage foreclosures increasing throughout our nation, NeighborWorks¨ America has been designated by Congress to develop and implement a solution to minimize the impact on homeowners. Neighborworks is administering a foreclosure mitigation program, with an appropriation of up to $180 million, and is currently working to develop the program design, set up systems to deliver training and disburse grant funds, design reporting mechanisms, and ensure quality control and compliance. Neighborworks has been tasked with awarding $50 million of the appropriated amount to areas of greatest need by February 24.

Ken Wade, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborworks, has asked me and others to participate on an advisory committee to assist his organization in implementing this program. I appreciate this opportunity, as CDFIs can and will play a key role in solving and mitigating the current mortgage situation.

The CDFI Fund is an important part of the Department of the Treasury's goal to stimulate economic growth and job creation, and I want to thank the CDFI Fund's staff for their dedication and commitment as we work hard to reach the goals outlined in this message. The New Year brings tremendous opportunities, and I look forward to continuing the important mission of the CDFI Fund.

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