CDFI Impact Blog



Program Notes: Eligible Uses of Capital Magnet Fund Awards Notes: Eligible Uses of Capital Magnet Fund Awards<div class="ExternalClassCCB7510979464FBBBCF651B9DFB1C156"><p>Earlier this month, the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) team held a conference call to provide more information about the Capital Magnet Fund program and to encourage potential applicants to start preparing for the release of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Capital Magnet Fund Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), <a href="/news-events/news/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=257&Category=Updates" target="_blank">expected later this spring</a>. The <a href="/Documents/CMF%20Outreach%20Conference%20Call%20Slides%20510_for%20release.pdf" target="_blank">presentation</a> from that call can be found on the CDFI Fund’s website.</p><p>One topic covered during the call was the eligible uses of Capital Magnet Fund award dollars for Affordable Housing and Economic Development activities. A Capital Magnet Fund award can be a flexible tool for meeting affordable housing and related economic development needs in low-income communities. There are several eligible uses of CMF award dollars: </p><ul><li><p>An <i>Affordable Housing Fund</i> can be capitalized with a CMF Award. Combined with other public and private funds, an Affordable Housing Fund can be used to make loans, grants, or equity investments in Affordable Housing. The type of financing which may be offered from the Affordable Housing Fund varies and can be either short- or long-term in nature. For example, an Affordable Housing Fund may be used for predevelopment lending; construction loans; or permanent financing for rental housing, down payment loans, or subordinate mortgages for homeownership. </p></li><li><p>A <i>Revolving Loan Fund</i> can be capitalized with a CMF Award. A revolving loan fund is usually a pool of funds that is used to make loans for either Affordable Housing and/or Economic Development Activities. Revolving loans tend to be short term in nature and usually are intended to be re-paid so that the loan proceeds can be used to provide additional loans. </p></li><li><p>A CMF Award can be used to create <i>Loan Loss Reserves,</i> which are funds set-aside to cover losses on loans, in the form of cash reserves, or through accounting-based accrual reserves. This financing tool can help developers incur debt for riskier projects, or reduce the cost of debt used to finance development. </p></li><li><p><i>Risk-sharing loans</i> can also be made using a CMF Award. These are loans in which the risk of default is shared by the CMF Recipient and other lenders (e.g., top loss or participation loans). These types of loans can provide access to financing that is not readily available for affordable housing development, particularly in distressed areas. </p></li><li><p><i>Loan Guarantees</i> can be made with a CMF Award to repay all or a portion of a loan in case of default by the borrower. Loan Guarantees also help to provide access to financing that is not readily available for Affordable Housing Activities, particularly in distressed areas. </p></li><li><p>CMF Awards can also be used to capitalize an <i>Economic Development Activities Fund,</i> which can be used to finance the development, preservation, acquisition and/or rehabilitation of buildings that house businesses or Community Service Facilities (e.g., health clinics). CMF-financed Economic Development Activities must be part of a community Concerted Strategy and in proximity to Affordable Housing.</p></li></ul><p>As you can see, this “menu” of eligible uses offers CMF Recipients a great deal of flexibility to design financing products that can address a variety of affordable housing and economic development needs. For example, previous Capital Magnet Fund awardees have undertaken:</p><ul><li><p>Financing for manufactured housing in rural areas. </p></li><li><p>Loans to assist with down-payments and closing costs for first-time home buyers. </p></li><li><p>Financing the development of health centers in mixed-used affordable housing.</p></li><li><p>Preservation of rental housing to support the long-term affordability of properties with expiring subsidies.</p></li><li><p>Mixed-income housing in conjunction with related economic development projects, such as providing access to healthy food, health clinics, childcare, retail options, and other critical services.</p></li><li><p>The development of affordable housing for seniors and for persons with disabilities. </p></li></ul><p>The wide range of eligible uses of a Capital Magnet Fund Award means that applicants have the opportunity to tailor their applications and activities for the best fit for their organizations and communities. We encourage prospective applicants to learn more about the program and how a Capital Magnet Fund Award may work for your organization. More information can be found in the program’s <a href="/Documents/Capital%20Magnet%20Fund%20Statute.pdf">statute</a> and <a href="/Documents/Interim%20Rule%20FR%202016-02132.pdf">interim regulations</a>, as well as the <a href="/Documents/CMF%20Outreach%20Conference%20Call%20Slides%20510_for%20release.pdf">FY 2017 outreach presentation </a>on the CDFI Fund’s website. </p><p>To learn more about Capital Magnet Fund, please visit <a href=""></a>. You can also <a href="">subscribe through our website </a>to receive updates from us to learn when the FY 2017 round is open to receive applications. </p><p><i>Marcia Sigal is the Program Manager of the CDFI Fund’s Capital Magnet Fund program.</i></p> </div>Marcia Sigal2017-05-25T12:38:00ZPrograms and Initiatives30GP0|#a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da;L0|#0a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da|Capital Magnet Fund;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532
Getting Ready to Apply for CDFI Fund Grant Assistance in Four Steps Ready to Apply for CDFI Fund Grant Assistance in Four Steps<div class="ExternalClass875EC7D3F94E453DA8E99516BE68D58C"><p><i>This post was originally published on April 27, 2018, and was updated on June 4, 2018 to clarify that both new and existing accounts are affected by recent registration policy changes. </i></p><p>If your organization is contemplating submitting an application to a future or upcoming funding round for one of the CDFI Fund’s programs, there are things you can start doing now in order to ensure a smooth application process. Organizations interested in applying to the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), Capital Magnet Fund, Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), or CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) may find the following information helpful in getting started.</p><p> To successfully submit a CDFI Fund program funding application, your organization will need to have key information on hand and account access for several different federal government websites. You can act now to speed things up for your organization when the application period for the program you are interested in applying to, opens. </p><p>Completing the following will ensure that you will be able to access required forms and information in,, and the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). Please note that while we have done our best to compile useful links to help you, the CDFI Fund is not responsible for maintaining links or the accuracy of the information on other organizations' websites.<br></p><div><h3>Step 1: Obtain your DUNS and EIN Numbers</h3><p> Each applicant must provide, as part of its application submission, a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Applicants without a DUNS number will not be able to register in and, nor submit an application in the system.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time: One week or more.*</strong> Please allow sufficient time for Dun and Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers.</p></li><li><p> <a href="">Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here</a>.</p></li></ul></div></div><p> Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number <strong>(</strong><strong>EIN</strong><strong>)</strong> to register in, which is a prerequisite to submit a funding application via Applicants that do not have an EIN number must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain the number.<br></p></div><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time: Two weeks or more.*</strong></p></li><li><p> <a href="">To obtain an EIN, please visit the page here</a>.<br></p></li></ul></div></div><h3>Step 2: Create or Update Your Account</h3><p>The System for Award Management (SAM) is an official website of the U.S. government that collects, validates, stores, and disseminates business information about the federal government's trading partners in support of the contract awards, grants, and electronic payment processes. You must have an active registration in to do business with the federal government.</p><div><p> Registration in SAM is <strong>required</strong> as part of the registration process and for all Qualified Issuer and Guarantee Applications submitted for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.</p><p> Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. If your account is not active, you will be unable to submit the portion of your application. Additionally, if your application is successful, the funds from your award will be paid to the bank account you have on file with Therefore, it is important to have accurate bank information in the system.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time</strong><strong>:</strong> Due to recent procedural changes, <a href="">found here</a>, this process may take more than one <strong>month</strong> for both new applicants and applicants that need to re-activate an existing account.<strong>*</strong></p></li> <li><p> <a href="">Here’s a useful link on how to register a new entity with</a>.<br></p></li></ul></div><h3>Step 3: Create or Update Your Account</h3><p> Applicants must have a account and submit the appropriate Standard Form (SF)-424 by the deadline listed in the applicable program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register.</p><p> The appropriate SF-424 must be completed and submitted electronically via before the application materials are due in the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). You will not be able to submit the SF-424 to the CDFI Fund directly. If you upload the SF-424 to your AMIS account, it will not be reviewed. An SF-424 must submitted separately for each program applied to on an annual basis, in accordance with each program’s NOFA.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated Time:</strong> One week or more, assuming an existing SAM.Gov account.*</p></li><li><p> <a href="">Here’s a useful link on how to register for a account.</a><br></p></li></ul></div><h3>Step 4: Create or Update Your AMIS Account</h3><p> Make sure your AMIS account is up-to-date: verify the contacts for your organization are current and assign them the proper permissions. Only a user designated as an Authorized Representative in AMIS can submit an application. Make sure that the person with the “Authorized Representative” permission is allowed to sign legal documents on behalf of your organization. Consultants working on behalf of your organization cannot be designated as Authorized Representatives. Be sure to include e-mail addresses and phone numbers for each contact. Also, make sure that your organization’s mailing address is correct.</p><p> In addition, your organization must have an EIN/Tax ID number recorded in AMIS in order to submit your application when the applicable funding round is opened.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated Time:</strong> 1-2 business days.*</p></li><li><p> <a href="">Learn how to establish an AMIS account here.</a><br></p></li></ul></div><p> Please note: </p><p>*Applicants are advised that the stated durations are estimates only and represent minimum timeframes. Actual timeframes may take longer.</p></div></div></div></div></div>2018-06-04T14:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives48GP0|#a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da;L0|#0a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da|Capital Magnet Fund;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives;GP0|#e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65;L0|#0e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65|CDFI Bond Guarantee Program;GP0|#6977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9;L0|#06977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9|Bank Enterprise Award Program
CDFI Fund Programs Reach Far and Wide, Even to the Arctic Circle Fund Programs Reach Far and Wide, Even to the Arctic Circle<div class="ExternalClass4DAD4FD324F64AB78CCA91A94CEB1C13"><p>​​In late October, CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan and I traveled to Alaska to participate in the Annual Conference of the Alaska Federation of Natives and to meet with several organizations that have utilized CDFI Fund programs. To say that Alaska, appropriately nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” is a unique place, would be an understatement. It is common to hear that Alaska is larger in area than California, Texas, and Montana combined, but it is impossible to appreciate that fact without experiencing it first-hand. The sheer size, remoteness, and climate of the state make community development even more challenging. Fortunately, there are organizations on the ground that have seen opportunity, not obstacles, in Alaska’s uniqueness. </p><p>The scale and remoteness that community development organizations face in Alaska was evident from our arrival. To reach our first site, Director Donovan and I took an hour and a half long flight from Anchorage to Kotzebue, a town of 3,200 that is located approximately 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The flight across Alaska’s interior was an appropriate way to be introduced to the state, as most towns and villages in the state are only accessible by plane. Fortunately, local community development organizations, such as Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO (AGC), a certified Native CDFI, are dedicated to reaching the remote corners of the state. </p><p>In Kotzebue, we visited Utuqqanaat Inaat (A Place for Elders), a long term care facility for Alaska Native elders that AGC financed, in part, with New Markets Tax Credits (since 2002, AGC has received three New Markets Tax Credit awards totaling $90 million in allocation authority). At Utuqqanaat Inaat, Alaska Native elders receive culturally appropriate person centered care, including being served traditional foods such as moose and caribou. We sampled some ourselves! New Markets Tax Credits helped AGC bridge a critical gap in financing for a facility that provides Inupiat elders with a chance to live their senior years in a place where the language, food, and culture are more familiar than they would be in a traditional nursing home.</p><p>After seeing Kotzebue, we returned to Anchorage to learn how local organizations have used CDFI Fund awards to address affordable housing challenges in Alaska. There are many unique factors that present barriers to affordable housing in the state. For example, transporting building materials to isolated parts of Alaska and narrow construction windows caused by Alaska’s frigid climate drive the cost of housing construction beyond affordability for many <a href="#Alaskans">Alaskans</a>. Further, the average household energy costs in Alaska are more than twice the national average, costs which are often compounded by a lack of adequate insulation in many existing <a href="#homes">homes</a>. These factors make finding affordable housing challenging for many of Alaska’s most vulnerable citizens. </p><p>In Anchorage, we toured several affordable housing locations that had been financed or developed by nonprofits and Native CDFIs. We visited the Cook Inlet Lending Center, a Native CDFI with a primary mission of increasing access to homeownership. In addition to hearing about Cook Inlet Lending Center’s activities, we saw first-hand many affordable housing sites that its parent company, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, had developed around Anchorage. The Lending Center and Housing Authority provide Alaskans with an opportunity to overcome the many obstacles to homeownership in the state by providing mortgages through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Section 184 Home Loan Guarantee Program and offering down payment assistance loans.</p><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Birchwood Apartments" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/future%20office%20of%20cook%20inlet%20and%20CMF%20housing%20sites%203.jpeg" style="width:300px;" /> We also met with staff from Volunteers of America Alaska, who gave us a tour of affordable housing sites developed and redeveloped with funding that its parent organization, Volunteers of America, received from the Capital Magnet Fund. Volunteers of America has received two Capital Magnet Fund awards totaling $9.5 million since 2010. The two housing developments we toured, Trailside Heights in Anchorage, and Birchwood Apartments in Eagle River, were beautiful, and the stories we heard from residents demonstrate the difference that programs such as the Capital Magnet Fund can make in the lives of families. </p><p> Each family we met in the housing developments was unique, but a common thread was woven through each of their stories. Every resident shared that, while they had their own challenges to overcome, their lives and the lives of their families were better off because they had found a safe and affordable home. Residents expressed that they had better access to essential healthcare services, a chance to raise their children in a safe and supportive environment, and the opportunity to strive to provide a better life for their loved ones because they’d found homes provided by Volunteers for America. </p><p>The stories we heard at Trailside Heights and Birchwood Apartments were inspiring, as were all the sites we visited in Alaska. Staff from every organization that we met acknowledged the unique circumstances they were operating in, but also that they saw an opportunity to utilize CDFI Fund programs to create a better quality of life for the citizens of their state. CDFI Fund programs are flexible enough to allow local organizations to facilitate investments that address needs in the most challenged areas in the country, even in the Arctic Circle. </p><p> <i>Clint Hastings is a Senior Portfolio Manager for the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives</i></p><hr /> <footer> <ol><li id="Alaskans"> <i>“Alaska Rural Homeownership Resource Guide,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. January 2017.</i></li><li id="homes"> <i>“2014 Alaska Housing Assessment,” Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. </i></li></ol></footer> </div>Clint Hastings2017-12-13T15:52:00ZLocal Impact42GP0|#ab4fe4dc-3e5a-4bf0-9957-93afe828ea67;L0|#0ab4fe4dc-3e5a-4bf0-9957-93afe828ea67|Alaska;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GP0|#a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da;L0|#0a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da|Capital Magnet Fund;GP0|#368ed6d6-d6bb-4a27-ad10-a1a0a87661d8;L0|#0368ed6d6-d6bb-4a27-ad10-a1a0a87661d8|New Markets Tax Credit