Senator Menendez Takes Lead on CDFI Dear Colleague Letter

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has taken the lead in upper chamber on a “dear colleague” in support of continued funding for the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions CDFI Fund (CDFI). A similar letter is circulating in the House.

The Trump Administration recently released additional details for the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 (FY2020). Similar to the administration’s FY2018 and FY2019 budget proposals, the FY2020 proposed budget eliminates funding for the CDFI Fund's grant programs, though it would provide $14 million to cover existing commitments and administration of the CDFI Fund's other programs.

CUNA and the state leagues have continued to highlight to Congress the importance of grants provided to credit unions through the CDFI Fund to better serve low-income members and underbanked communities. Funding for both the CDFI Fund and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) has been among the issues discussed during the League’s Hike-the-Hill and in-district meetings with members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation.

Full CDFI funding was included in the government funding package passed in February.

As of March 31, 289 credit unions are among the 1,074 certified CDFIs nationwide.

The CDFI Program announced April 4 that it will be accepting applications from credit unions and other institutions that qualify as CDFIs for up to $184 million in grants during its fiscal year 2019 funding round. The application deadline is June 6. A detailed overview of the types of awards available can be found in the FY 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Applications for financial assistance and technical grants are due June 6. Credit unions designated by NCUA as low-income automatically qualify to seek assistance from the CDFI Fund, but they must have CDFI certification to apply. CDFI certification applications are due May 3 for this round of funding.