WASHINGTON (2/10/11)--The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced a sharp jump in applications for grants and assistance under the FY 2011 round of its Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program. The program, run under the auspices of the U.S. Treasury Department, saw nearly a 50% spike in both the number of applications and in total dollar amounts requested as compared to the 2010 round, “paralleling the rapid expansion of the Native CDFI industry in recent years”, a CDFI Fund announcement said. Loan funds made up the bulk of applicants at 82%, but for financial institutions credit union involvement was way ahead. Credit unions represented 13% of the applications, while banks, thrifts and holding companies comprised just 5% of the applicants. Applicants requested just a hair under $35 million in NACA financial assistance, technical assistance, or both. The CDFI Fund’s NACA Program addresses a lack of economic opportunity in Native communities by increasing access to capital and financial services. The financial and technical assistance is intended to foster the development and expansion of Native CDFIs. According to Treasury, the Native CDFI industry has grown from just 14 certified Native CDFIs in 2001 to 59 as of December 2010, with an additional 60 preparing for certification. “I am delighted to see the strong growth in applications for the NACA Program as Native CDFIs continue their critical work overcoming barriers to capital and promoting economic development in Native communities,” said CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell in a release. “Native communities face critical economic challenges and Native CDFIs are providing the leadership and stability to expand opportunity and create lasting change in the communities they serve.” Use the resource link below for more information on Treasury’s CDFI Fund and its programs.