WASHINGTON (1/31/11)--Credit unions currently represent 13% of the total applicant pool for the 2011 round of the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund Program, according to a Friday Treasury release. Fifty credit unions requested a combined total of nearly $56 million in funding. Thirty-five of those requests were for $54.3 million in total financial assistance, while 15 of the requests were for $1.4 million in technical assistance grants. The CDFI Fund received 393 funding applications from credit unions, banks, loan funds, venture capital funds, thrifts, and holding companies. Under $465 million in funds has been requested by these entities, and $135 million in funding will be distributed during the 2011 round of the CDFI Fund. CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell said that while the overall economy is "showing clear signs of recovery,” economic recovery is somewhat slower in many low income communities. “The CDFI Fund is poised to ensure its resources are awarded and disbursed to the CDFIs serving these communities as expeditiously as possible,” she added. The Treasury's CDFI Fund helps locally based financial institutions offer small business, consumer and home loans in communities and populations that lack access to affordable credit. Credit unions that are certified to take part in the CDFI program may apply for as much as $2 million in funding to help maintain their credit union's presence in the community. CDFI fund distributions are merit-based. Twenty-one credit unions were awarded a combined $12 million in funds during the 2010 round of the CDFI Fund, with nearly one-third of those credit unions receiving $750,000 in funding each, the highest amount awarded to any financial institution during that round. The 2010 round of grants totaled $104.9 million in funding for 180 CDFI Fund-eligible institutions, representing the largest combined amount to be awarded since the CDFI Fund program began in 1994. The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions in November reported that community development credit unions account for 165, or 20%, of CDFI-certified financial institutions. For the CDFI Fund release, use the resource link.