WASHINGTON (6/18/12)--Credit unions demonstrate that America "can be stronger when we include those that have been excluded, and when we seek to build institutions that are both sustainable and just," Donna Gambrell, director of the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, said Friday.
The CDFI Fund's support for community development credit unions has been strong and is getting stronger, she added in her speech before the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions' annual conference in Atlanta, Ga.
This support was demonstrated by the 100% increase in CDFI funds awarded to eligible credit unions between 2010 and 2011, she said. A total of 25 credit unions received a combined $25.6 million in financial and technical assistance awards in the 2011 funding round, more than double the $12 million total that was awarded in 2010, Gambrell noted. The number of CDFI-certified credit unions also continues to grow, with the 221 certified credit unions accounting for 22.7% of all registered CDFIs as of March 31. (See related News Now story: CU Strategic Planning led increase in CDFI grants won)
A total of 403 credit unions, banks, loan funds, venture capital funds, thrifts and holding companies have requested a combined $395.7 million in CDFI Fund awards for the 2012 round of the fund. However, only $123 million in funds will be disbursed this year.
Gambrell said awards for the 2012 program will be announced by early August. The 2013 round of the CDFI Fund will open this fall.
Funding for the 2013 CDFI Fund is still to be determined. The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved $233 million in CDFI Fund spending last week as part of a larger financial services appropriations bill. That legislation has been passed on to the U.S. Senate.
However, under a House financial services appropriations bill, CDFI Fund spending would remain at 2012's total of $221 million.
The 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.