CDFI Impact Blog



CDFI Fund Weighs Public Input from Listening Tour Fund Weighs Public Input from Listening Tour<div class="ExternalClassD7001069D8E146B68268D5AB6DD80CB9"><p> <em>​This was originally posted on <a href="" target="_blank">Treasury's Notes blog</a> on August 28, 2015.</em></p><p>This month, Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) wrapped up its National Listening Tour. We spent the summer soliciting public input regarding a new strategic framework for the CDFI Fund. These forums provided an opportunity for constructive dialogue that will build on the growth and success of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Community Development Entities (CDEs), and the communities that they serve. Using what we heard, we will be creating a “<em>Framework for the Future</em>,” which will be a set of strategic directives to guide our work over the next five years.</p><p>At the CDFI Fund, we are mindful of the tremendous responsibility that we play in promoting economic revitalization in our nation’s low-income communities. That is why we convened these sessions to hear from stakeholders firsthand their thoughts on our strategic direction over the next five years. More than 300 people attended sessions in five cities and over 70 others joined me on two conference calls for those serving rural communities in the continental U.S. and in Hawaii, Alaska, and the territories.</p><p>We asked participants to weigh in on six areas of inquiry, including: </p><ul><li>​How can the CDFI Fund support the use of data to strengthen the industry and increase our impact? </li><li>How can we best support CDFIs to continue to innovate? What will it take to scale solutions we know work? </li><li>What more can we do to reach communities that need CDFIs but are either not being served by them, or have limited access to CDFI Fund support? </li><li>Are our programs effective and working optimally for communities? </li><li>How is our customer service? What needs to be improved? </li><li>What issues should be on our radar screen but are not?</li></ul><p>Some highlights of what I heard are:</p><ul><li>​CDFIs appreciate the flexibility and usefulness of our programs, especially financial assistance awards; </li><li>CDFIs use our awards to support a wide diversity of community development strategies, from consumer services and credit, to micro and small businesses, to community facilities and affordable housing; </li><li>CDFIs appreciate the knowledge and responsiveness of our staff; and </li><li>CDFIs would like more transparency, to shorten our award cycle, and to make our data collection system easier to use. </li></ul><p>This feedback comes at a pivotal time for the CDFI Fund. Next month will mark the end of our 20th year, and we have accomplished so much over that time. We’ve grown a nationwide network of almost 1,000 certified CDFIs, and we’ve awarded over $46 billion in monetary awards, tax credit authority, and bond guarantees. The CDFIs and CDEs that received these resources have delivered vital lifelines to communities. As we look to the future, we know that there is so much more to be done to bring economic opportunities to underserved urban and rural areas of the nation.</p><p>We thank those who participated in and hosted our Listening Tour, especially the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, Kansas City/Denver, Chicago, New York and Atlanta.</p><p> <em>Annie Donovan is the Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the U.S. Treasury Department.​</em></p></div>Annie Donovan2015-08-28T17:36:00ZFramework for the Future10GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532
Welcome to the new CDFI Fund website! to the new CDFI Fund website!<div class="ExternalClass074C17A5D0564DEC857FFA1BD0FAA1EC"><p>I hope you enjoy the new site, which was designed to better serve YOU, the CDFI Fund’s applicants and awardees and members of the public, as you look for more information about our programs. There may be a whole new look and feel, but the same in-depth information you’ve come to expect from the CDFI Fund is still here.</p><p>If you’ve come to the website before in the past year, you most likely encountered a survey asking your opinion on our old website. We listened to you, and took your feedback into account as we designed this website to be more user-friendly and to have a greater emphasis on the story of CDFIs and CDEs and how they are revitalizing our nation’s low-income communities. </p><p>One way we’re going to do that is through the CDFI Fund’s new Impact Blog. The blog is where we will be showcasing success stories from CDFIs and CDEs across the country, as well as highlighting areas of interest for our award programs. Expect to see stories of the impact CDFIs and CDEs make across the country featured here in the coming months.</p><p>Other improvements include: </p><ul><li>The introduction of “How to Apply” steps for our programs to organize our guidance based upon the stages of the application or award processes; </li><li>Clear navigation through the site and different pages; and </li><li>Robust search and filter functions to help you find the exact document you need.</li></ul><p>Stay tuned as we continue to improve the site and our virtual tools in general, especially in the near future as we officially launch our new Awards Management Information System, AMIS. AMIS will be replacing myCDFIFund, and will allow for the submission of online certification and program applications and the easy maintenance of organizational data. Expect to see more information about AMIS soon. </p><p>One more thing – you may still encounter that feedback survey popping up on the new website. If you do, I hope you take a minute to provide us some additional feedback on the new design. We are continually striving to improve our customer service, and this coordinated effort to bring you modern tools for interacting with and receiving information from the CDFI Fund is a big step forward.</p> </div>Annie Donovan2015-09-16T12:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives11
Local Impact of CDFIs in Milwaukee and Chicago Impact of CDFIs in Milwaukee and Chicago<div class="ExternalClass2FE67FA13C5143AFAEAF5FEAF6B800CA"><p>Just before Thanksgiving, I visited Milwaukee and Chicago and had the opportunity to witness the impact that CDFIs are making in those great cities. CDFIs nationwide are building businesses, creating jobs, and developing housing, and the CDFIs in Milwaukee and Chicago are no exception.</p><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Image of Next Door in Wisconsin" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/Next%20Door%20WI%20Nov2015%20small.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />In Milwaukee, I visited Next Door, Inc. Next Door is an early education provider that has worked with thousands of children and families to give them the skills they need to achieve sustainable success in school and in life. Next Door’s mission is to support the intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional development of children so they become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.</p><p>Forward Community Investments, a Wisconsin-based CDFI and CDE, provided New Markets Tax Credits to help Next Door expand its Head Start and Early Head Start programs into a larger building. When the renovation of the 103,000 square foot building is complete, there will be space for 20 new classrooms, a children’s kitchen, a drama and art studio, and multi-purpose rooms.</p><p>What was most impressive to me about Next Door’s programming is that it goes beyond the child to include the whole family. They start with pregnant moms and support them through birth and the critical early years of their child’s development. They also have programs targeted specifically to dads!</p><p>I also met the inspiring <a href="" target="_blank">Genyne Edwards</a>, who runs P3 Development Group. P3 Development Group is a small consulting business that is focused on community development solutions for Milwaukee. Organizations such as United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee have used P3 Development Group’s services to help them identify gaps and opportunities in the programs they provide to the local community. And now Genyne has been able to purchase her own office space, with the help of Legacy Redevelopment Corporation, which will enable her to continue to facilitate transformative change in Milwaukee.</p><p><img class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Image of Bronzeville Jerk Shack" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/Chicago%20Tour%20Nov2015%208_small.jpg" style="margin:5px;" />In Chicago, I experienced a wide range of CDFI projects on the South Side of the city because many CDFIs collaborated to plan and execute the tour. We all hopped on a big bus and toured over a dozen sites. For example, Bronzeville Cookin’s Jerk Shack, the home of delicious Jamaican street food. Founder Bernard Loyd is a visionary leader who is using food as a tool for community development. He has said, “the path to good community goes through good food.” We also saw Stony Island Arts Bank, a formerly abandoned building turned into a neighborhood space that serves as a repository for African American culture and history. Both of these projects wouldn’t have come to fruition without the patience and persistence of Chicago Community Loan Fund.</p><p>We also visited Pullman Park in Chicago, a mixed-use development that will bring new retail, affordable housing, and park space to an historic part of the South Side. Pullman Park is possible thanks to New Markets Tax Credit investments from Chicago-area organizations, such as the Chicago Neighborhood Initiative, and will address the needs of an underserved area.</p><p>It is so energizing to see the impact CDFIs make locally, and how communities and lives have been transformed by CDFIs. At every project I visited, it was clear that CDFIs are working at the intersection of people and place, not just financing tangible assets, but seeding opportunities for future generations to thrive.</p></div>Annie Donovan2015-11-30T21:00:00ZLocal Impact13GP0|#5c568afc-7fff-4133-ab30-b833f3fd3a3f;L0|#05c568afc-7fff-4133-ab30-b833f3fd3a3f|Illinois;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#78de02a6-ea08-4eec-90a2-57d6bb226cb7;L0|#078de02a6-ea08-4eec-90a2-57d6bb226cb7|Wisconsin;GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field