CDFI Building Congressional Support
In the wake of a hearing before the House Committee on Financial Services last week, community development financial institutions, including some credit unions, are trying to build legislative support for their agenda.
The CDFI Coalition is circulating an appeal to its member organizations to lobby their representatives to sign a letter being circulated by Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) in support of the U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund.
The letter, which has 18 Democratic signers already urges the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee to appropriate $300 million to the CDFI Fund and to continue the current moratorium on requiring CDFI's which get money from the fund to match grants with funds from private sources.
"At a time when many conventional lenders are pulling back on their commercial and business lending, the demand for financing from CDFIs is robust," the currently undated letter says. "The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act not only provided $100 million in stimulus dollars to the Fund but also waived the one-to-one private matching funds required of CDFIs applying for financial assistance from the Fund. By waiving the match, Congress acknowledged the difficulty that CDFIs face in securing private sources of matching in a slowing economy," the letter added.