Letter to Senators Bond, Mikulski and Stevens regarding the Community Development Financial Institutions
July 10, 2003
The Honorable Christopher Bond; Barbara Mikulski, Ted Stevens
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and America's 84 million credit union members, I would like to reinforce credit unions' support of $80 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund for FY2004.
As you know, the Administration requested only $51 million for the CDFI fund for FY2004 - a decrease of $17 million from the Administration's significantly low request in FY2003 ($68 million). Unfortunately, the CDFI Fund has faced drastic cuts in recent years and has been severely under-funded since the program's appropriation in FY2001, when it was funded at $118 million.
CUNA strongly supports an increase in this fund to a minimum of $80 million. Credit unions believe the CDFI fund plays a critical role in promoting economic revitalization and community development by investing in, and assisting community development financial institutions. CDFIs offer low-cost loans, lower fee mortgages and other products along with financial education and counseling to individuals, businesses, affordable housing developers and community facilities. They promote private entrepreneurship, encourage self-sufficiency, and help build community assets.
Therefore, I am asking for your leadership in securing a funding level of $80 million to ensure the CDFI fund will continue to provide credit, investment capital, and financial services in distressed communities across America.
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO