CDFI Impact Blog

 

 

Innovative Clean Water Financing in Rural Communitieshttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=44Innovative Clean Water Financing in Rural Communities<div class="ExternalClass9B6A55FD41654499AA4ACCBE1382DCC5"><div class="figure"> <img class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Craft3 Septic Project" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/Craft3_Septic_VerticalBulldozer_jpg.jpg" style="width:30%;margin-right:1%;margin-bottom:0.5em;float:left;" /> </div><p>The opportunity to witness firsthand innovative CDFI and CDE activity in communities across the country is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Recently, I was privileged to join Craft3 CEO Adam Zimmerman and Carl Seip, VP of Communications and External Affairs, on a site visit to a Clean Water Loan construction site outside of Tacoma, Washington.</p><p>Poor water quality can have dire impacts on people within an affected community, particularly in rural areas, which are often not served by public water systems but rely instead on individual wells to provide drinking water and septic systems to remove wastewater. These systems are in varying states of repair and can often fail to provide safe and adequate service. Studies indicate clean water and wastewater needs in rural areas approach $68 billion, and the needs in small communities (with populations of fewer than 10,000) are nearly $34 <a href="#billion">billion</a>—a daunting obstacle for communities to overcome.</p><p>More than ten years ago Craft3 recognized the depth of these challenges and developed the <a href="http://www.craft3.org/CleanWater" target="_blank">Clean Water Loan </a>in <a href="http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/" target="_blank">Pacific County, Washington</a> to help rural homeowners finance the repair or replacement of septic systems. The cost to replace a septic system can be a significant burden on a family’s household budget, and failing systems can pollute the environment, threaten public health, and negatively impact local industries reliant on clean water. Craft3 has since invested more than $21 million into the loan program, and has expanded the program with the support of state and local governments and private funders throughout much of Oregon and Washington. </p><p>Uniquely, they’ve structured the loan in a way that makes it particularly accessible to low- and moderate-income households, and others with credit challenges. Depending on their income, an applicant may be eligible for a reduced interest rate or deferred payments. As a result, four in ten Clean Water Loan borrowers are low-income. The availability of loans like this help keep families in their homes when they don’t have other viable options. The Clean Water Loan construction site we visited underscored this simple fact.</p><p>In one particular case, a homeowner had a series of unexpected home repairs including expensive plumbing, roofing, and the installation of a new furnace. When the family’s septic system failed, they found Craft3. Though the family had good jobs, obtaining financing was a challenge. Craft3 provided an affordable solution for their unique situation. The Clean Water Loan allowed them to get a new system installed before the rainy Northwest winter. </p><p>I have always been proud of the breadth of impact that CDFIs make—on everything from large tax-credit community facilities to small-scale entrepreneurs. It was a special moment to stand next to the homeowner as we watched a bulldozer digging into the side of a hill for her new septic system. Her relief was palpable. It is a reminder that building resilience takes many forms, and CDFIs are at the forefront.</p><p> <i>Annie Donovan is Director of the CDFI Fund</i></p><hr /> <footer> <ol><li id="billion">“Clean Watersheds Needs Survey 2012-Report to Congress,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. January 2016. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-12/documents/cwns_2012_report_to_congress-508-opt.pdf </li><p> </p></ol> </footer></div>Annie Donovan2018-01-23T16:48:00ZLocal Impact44GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#b7b05618-445b-40ae-b997-d6200e9475f1;L0|#0b7b05618-445b-40ae-b997-d6200e9475f1|Washington
Program Notes: FY 2018 Disability Funds-Financial Assistance Awardshttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=45Program Notes: FY 2018 Disability Funds-Financial Assistance Awards<div class="ExternalClass167936404C85406C8E8CAE20E66F6CB5"><p>You may have noticed something new when the CDFI Fund opened the FY 2018 application round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) on January 31, 2018.</p><p>As part of this year’s application process, the CDFI Fund is inviting applicants to compete for approximately $2.5 million in supplemental Disability Funds-Financial Assistance funding (DF-FA). This award is available to CDFIs that wish to expand their financing activities and services for persons with disabilities.</p><p>Many Americans with disabilities live in communities served by CDFIs. As mission-driven organizations, CDFIs are uniquely positioned to develop affordable financial services and products to address the challenges of individuals with disabilities, such as affordable, accessible, and safe housing; employment opportunities; or access to assistive products and services that support health and community living. The DF-FA awards will encourage deeper CDFI involvement in this essential space. </p><p>In order to apply for the FY 2018 supplemental funding, interested CDFIs must apply for FY 2018 Financial Assistance (FA) funding and include their DF-FA award request as part of their FA application. Once the FA application period ends on April 4, 2018, DF-FA applicants will complete a short questionnaire application provided by the CDFI Fund. </p><p>You can learn more about the DF-FA funding opportunity by reviewing the FY 2018 Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for the CDFI Program and the NACA Program, and by checking out the CDFI Fund’s issued guidance on the “How to Apply” section of our website. For the FY 2018 round, Standard Form (SF)-424s must be submitted through Grants.gov by March 2, 2018, and the complete FY 2018 FA application for either the CDFI Program and/or the NACA Program must be submitted through the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System by April 4, 2018. </p><p>The CDFI Fund will also provide training opportunities for financial institutions interested in expanding or beginning new services for persons with disabilities. Stay tuned for more information later in 2018. </p><p> To learn more about the CDFI Program and NACA Program, please visit our website at <a href="http://www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi" target="_blank">www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi</a> or <a href="http://www.cdfifund.gov/native" target="_blank">www.cdfifund.gov/native</a>.   </p> </div>2018-02-07T17:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives45GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives
Getting Ready for the Upcoming CDFI/NACA Program Funding Round in 4 Stepshttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=43Getting Ready for the Upcoming CDFI/NACA Program Funding Round in 4 Steps<div class="ExternalClass8A1F0935AC754D36B4A52CD76FC5516B"><p>With the New Year, the CDFI Fund has begun preparing for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding rounds of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). To help you prepare, we wanted to pass along some key steps that will ensure a smooth application process.</p><p>To successfully submit a funding application, your organization will need to have key information on hand and account access for several different government websites. You can act now to speed things up for your organization when the application period opens. At this time, the CDFI Fund anticipates that the Notice of Funding Availability, which officially opens the FY 2018 application process, will be published in the Federal Register in early February 2018.</p><p>These pre-application steps may take 30 days or longer to complete. If you are interested in applying for FY 2018 funding, we suggest that you get started as soon as possible. In order for your application to considered for an award, all of these steps <b>must be</b> completed by the stated deadlines in the (soon-to-be published) NOFA.</p><p>Completing the following will ensure that you will be able to access required forms and information in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, 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.</p><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 <b>(DUNS)</b> number. Applicants without a DUNS number will not be able to register in SAM.gov and Grants.gov, nor submit an application in the Grants.gov system. Please allow sufficient time for Dun and Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers.</p><ul><li><p> <b>Estimated time:</b> One week or more.*</p></li><li><p><a href="https://www.dandb.com/product/companyupdate/companyupdateLogin?execution=e2s1" target="_blank">Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here. </a></p></li></ul><p>Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number <b>(EIN)</b> to register in SAM.gov, which is a prerequisite to submit a funding application via Grants.gov. Applicants that do not have an EIN number must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain the number.</p><ul><li><p> <b>Estimated time:</b> Two weeks or more.*</p></li><li><p><a href="https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online" target="_blank">To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page here. </a></p></li></ul><h3>Step 2: Create or Update Your SAM.gov Account</h3><p>The System for Award Management (SAM) is a web-based, government-wide application 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. </p><p>Registration in SAM is <b>required</b> as part of the Grants.gov registration process. For new applications, the SAM registration process can take two weeks or longer to complete. </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 SAM.gov account is not active, you will be unable to submit the Grants.gov 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 SAM.gov.</p><ul><li><p> <b>Estimated time:</b> Two weeks or more.*</p></li><li><p><a href="https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/?navigationalstate=JBPNS_rO0ABXdcACJqYXZheC5mYWNlcy5wb3J0bGV0YnJpZGdlLlNUQVRFX0lEAAAAAQApdmlldzo3YWFiZTBiOC0xNzIwLTQ2NTctOWU4Ni1iYjU2YWQwOTk4YzIAB19fRU9GX18%2a&portal:componentId=8c36e6ab-299f-4618-9947-8d7e71dd6130&interactionstate=JBPNS_rO0ABXc5ABBfanNmQnJpZGdlVmlld0lkAAAAAQAYL2pzZi9oZWxwL3NhbUhlbHBOYXYuanNwAAdfX0VPRl9f&portal:type=action#1" target="_blank">Here’s a useful link on how to register a new entity with SAM.gov.</a></p></li></ul><h3>Step 3: Create or Update Your Grants.gov Account</h3><p>In order to apply for a CDFI Program or NACA Program award, applicants must have a Grants.gov account and submit the Standard Form (SF)-424 by the deadline listed in the NOFA.</p><p>The SF-424 must be completed and submitted electronically to the CDFI Fund via Grants.gov 30 days before the application materials are due in the AMIS system. 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. </p><ul><li><p> <b>Estimated Time:</b> One week or more, assuming an existing SAM.Gov account.*</p></li><li><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1-ik--nrIg" target="_blank">Here’s a useful link on how to register for a Grants.gov account.</a></p></li></ul><h3>Step 4: Create or Update Your AMIS Account</h3><p>Make sure your Awards Management Information System (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>If you do not have an AMIS account, one must be established within 30 days of the NOFA’s release or your application will be considered ineligible.</p><p>In addition, your organization must have an EIN/Tax ID number recorded in AMIS in order to submit your application when the FY 2018 Funding Round is opened. </p><ul><li><p> <b>Estimated Time:</b> 1-2 business days.*</p></li><li><p><a href="https://amis.cdfifund.gov/s/CDFIFundAMIS-TrainingManual-AE101.pdf?v=5" target="_blank">Learn how to establish an AMIS account here.</a></p></li></ul><p> <i>Please note: </i></p><p>*Applicants are advised that the stated durations are estimates only and represent minimum timeframes. Actual timeframes may take longer.</p><h3>Know Where to Go For Help</h3><ul><li><p>For assistance with AMIS functionality, contact the CDFI Fund’s <b>AMIS Support:</b> <a href="mailto:AMIS@cdfi.treas.gov" target="_blank">AMIS@cdfi.treas.gov</a> or 202-653-0422. </p></li><li><p>For assistance with the SF-424 or Grants.gov accounts, contact <b>Grants.gov:</b> <a href="mailto:support@grants.gov" target="_blank">support@grants.gov</a> or 1-800-518-4726. </p></li><li><p> For assistance updating or creating your SAM.gov account, contact <b>SAM.gov:</b> Federal Service Desk (<a href="http://www.fsd.gov/" target="_blank">www.fsd.gov</a>) or 1-866-606-8220.</p></li></ul><p>Now you should feel prepared to start your pre-application process for the FY 2018 Application round! Be mindful of key due dates for each item as they are announced. </p><h3>Additional Resources</h3><ul><li><p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/GrantsGovUS/videos?disable_polymer=1" target="_blank">Other Grants.gov Videos </a></p></li><li><p><a href="https://www.sam.gov/sam/transcript/SAM_Non_Federal_User_Guide.pdf" target="_blank">SAM.gov Non-Federal Resource Guide </a></p></li><li><p> <a href="/cdfi" target="_blank">CDFI Program’s Website</a> </p></li><li><p> <a href="/native" target="_blank">NACA Program’s Website </a></p></li></ul><p>To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit <a href="http://www.cdfifund.gov/" target="_blank">www.cdfifund.gov</a>.  </p></div>2018-01-18T16:30:00ZPrograms and Initiatives43GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives