Federal Policy Issues

  • OFN's federal advocacy work is grounded

  • in the direct market experiences of our Members.

 

Overview

OFN’s 2017 federal policy priorities reflect what is most important to CDFIs in their work to increase economic opportunity in communities left out of the economic mainstream. Our request of Congress is to:

  • Appropriate $250 million for the CDFI Fund in both FY17 and FY18, the level allocated in the House-passed FY17 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.
  • Continue the CDFI Bond Guarantee program in both FY17 and FY18 with $500 million in guarantee authority.
  • Authorize the New Markets Tax Credit permanently and expand CDFIs’ access to the program.
  • Increase CDFIs access to other federal programs.

About the CDFI Fund

The CDFI Fund was established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, as a bipartisan initiative. Its mission is to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States.

About CDFIs

CDFIs are private-sector financial institutions investing, lending, and delivering responsible affordable financial products and services to disinvested communities. Some CDFI Fund programs leverage as much as $10 from the private sector for every $1 invested by the CDFI Fund. 

Learn More

Contact Liz Lopez, Executive Vice President, Public Policy.

CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP), enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is an innovative federal credit program that offers credit-worthy, certified CDFIs access to affordable long-term capital. The BGP is administered by the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and in FY 2016 is authorized to issue up to seven bonds for up to $750 million.  

Designed as a zero cost federal program—operating at no cost to taxpayers—the BGP enables participating CDFIs to expand and deepen their work towards economic growth and opportunity. 

OFN has led industry efforts in helping to create this transformative source of capital for CDFIs and their borrowers. From initial efforts to get the legislation created and passed, to support for the continuation of the program, to OFN’s role as an approved and experienced Qualified Issuer (QI), OFN is committed to help this program realize its full potential.

To help us shape the direction and ensure the future of the BGP, OFN Members are encouraged to stay informed through our regular policy communications and on CDFI Connect, OFN’s blog, as well as take part in our annual Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. 

CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Recipients

The first bond guarantees were issued in FY 2013 for $325 million. In FY 2014, the CDFI Fund guaranteed $225 million.

In FY 2015, the CDFI Fund guaranteed nine bonds for $327 million. OFN issued a multiparty bond to seven OFN Members making this the first time lenders with less than $50 million in assets have participated in the program and included the most diverse rural, urban, and Native service market for any bond issued under the program. The participants in OFN’s multiparty bond include:

  • Bridgeway Capital (Pittsburg, PA) $15 million
  • Chicago Community Loan Fund (Chicago, IL) $28 million
  • Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (Shawnee, OK) $16 million
  • Community Ventures (Lexington, KY) $15 million
  • Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (Berea, KY) $15 million
  • Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (London, KY) $10 million
  • New Jersey Community Capital (New Brunswick, NJ) $28 million

OFN also closed a $100 million bond issue with Clearinghouse CDFI (Lake Forest, CA). The Community Reinvestment Fund, USA issued a $100 million bond on behalf of La Raza Development Fund (both OFN Members).

 

 

Advocacy Day

OFN's Advocacy Day is held every May in Washington, D.C. It is an excellent opportunity for members of Congress and their staff to hear directly from our network about the great work they lead every day to increase acces to capital in rural, urban, and Native communities. This year's Advocacy Day will be May 16-17, 2017. The registration deadline is March 24, 2017. Click here to register for Advocacy Day 2017!

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