WASHINGTON (5/8/09)--The $234.6 million in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) funds contained in President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget should be a boon to Credit Unions that lend to individuals and businesses in economically distressed areas. According to a May 7 release from the U.S. Department of Treasury, the new federal budget represents a 127 percent increase from the $107 million granted to CDFIs by the 2009 budget. Over $113 million of the fiscal 2010 total will be specifically targeted to treating financial issues in underserved communities, the release added. A further $80 million of the CDFI funds will go to the newly-established Capital Magnet Fund, a program aimed at enhancing investments in affordable housing opportunities for the very poorest Americans. The Treasury Department's CDFI Fund is designed to offer affordable sources of credit to small businesses, individual consumers, and potential homebuyers that could otherwise be excluded. CUNA, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and the Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions have been steadfast in their efforts to increase CDFIF funding. Treasury currently extends CDFI certification to many non-government based financiers that work in targeted communities. The Treasury is holding a series of conference calls for financial institutions that may be interested in CDFI certification. For information on CDFI certification, see the resource link below.