Below are OFN advocacy toolkits and fact sheets on various policy issues. Please visit our Member Portal page for additional OFN Member advocacy tools, including toolkits and policy presentations.
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 financial mainstream.
The Administration’s FY18 budget request to zero-out funding for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI Fund) programs would result in a drastic reduction in the flow of capital to communities in most need of responsible loans and investments.
OFN Members create economic growth. OFN members finance community businesses, spark job growth in the areas that need it most, and deliver both sound financial returns and real changes for people and communities.
CDFIs are an increasingly important partner and investor in rural America: providing capital to businesses that increase tourism-related activities and create new jobs, financing critically-needed community facilities like health centers, and helping create new opportunities for economic growth in disinvested rural areas. More than half of OFN’s members invest in rural communities, providing $1.2 billion in loans and investments in 2015.
The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) was enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Designed as a zero-subsidy federal program—operating at no cost to taxpayers—the BGP enables participating CDFIs access to affordable, long-term capital. In FY17, the CDFI Fund was authorized to issue up to $500 million in bonds through the BGP. OFN’s FY18 request is for the continuation of the BGP with $500 million in guarantee authority.
The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), created with bipartisan support in 2000, stimulates economic activity in some of the nation’s most distressed rural and urban communities by providing a federal tax credit for investments in qualified businesses or economic development projects. The NMTC is administered by the CDFI Fund. In 2015, the NMTC was reauthorized through 2019 as part of the PATH Act (P.L. 114-113). In 2017, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the House (H.R.1098) and Senate (S.384) to expand the NMTC and make it a permanent part of the tax code.
Members of Congress and their staff can gain a more in-depth understanding of the work CDFIs are leading in their communities by visiting projects and meeting with borrowers. Send your request today to schedule a site visit during the next congressional recess. OFN has prepared this toolkit to assist you with your planning and advocacy efforts.