Application Period Opens for 2015 CDFI Fund Grants

Learn more about the benefits of CDFI certification in a free webinar on October 22.

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The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, a program of the U.S. Department of Treasury, has opened its 2015 funding round with $151 million available to certified CDFIs.

CDFI Fund grants are intended to build the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities who lack access to affordable financial products and services. According to the CDFI website, grantees can use the funds to pursue a variety of goals, including:

  • To promote economic development, to develop businesses, to create jobs, and to develop commercial real estate;
  • To develop affordable housing and to promote home ownership; and
  • To provide community development financial services, such as basic banking services, financial literacy programs, and alternatives to predatory lending.

“Every Northwest credit union that’s CDFI certified, or wants to be, should consider applying for one of these grants,” said John Trull, NWCUA’s director of regulatory advocacy. “Any credit union that would like more information is encouraged to contact the Association.”

There are two types of grants available — financial assistance grants and technical assistance grants. Financial assistance grants are awards of up to $2 million for financial capital, loan loss reserves, capital reserves, or operations. Technical assistance grants allow certified CDFIs and established financial institutions looking to become certified to build their capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low income communities and families.

During the 2014 funding round, two Northwest Credit Unions received grants totaling over $3 million. Industrial Credit Union received a $1.99 million grant and Lower Valley Credit Union received a grant of $1.65 million.

The deadline for applications for the 2015 funding round is November 24. The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is hosting a free webinar on the benefits of CDFI certification on October 22. You can find more information and register online.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790, jpearson@nwcua.org.

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