NEW YORK – While advocates stress the fight is far from over, they say support in the U.S. Senate is building for both keeping the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in the Treasury Department and funding it at $80 million, a level it has not seen in several years. The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions said a letter circulated among senators by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) has already garnered the support of 51 senators. The letter explicitly makes the point that “every $1 that the federal government invests in the CDFI Fund leverages $21 in private sector investment” and argues that the $116 million provided to New York CDFI’s since 1995 has yielded $2.4 billion in new private investment in low-income communities. “We are heartened by the broad support of the CDFI Fund has received from both sides of the aisle,” said Cliff Rosenthal, executive director of the Federation. “While there are many more turns in the road, we are encouraged more than ever that the CDFI Fund will continue next year as it has in the past.” The Bush Administration’s budget proposal for 2006 would end the program in favor of a block grant initiative administered by the Commerce Department.

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