Nearly six months after the start of fiscal year (FY) 2018, Congress finalized the FY2018 omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2018. The legislation, Public Law No: 115-141, provided $250 million for CDFI Fund Programs, the highest funding level in the history of the CDFI Fund. This success is a result of the great advocacy from OFN Members, Allies and partners across the industry, and is even more significant considering President Trump’s FY 2018 budget proposal recommended elimination of the CDFI Fund grant programs in FY2018.

Included in the $250 million for the CDFI Fund is:

  • $160 million for Financial and Technical Assistance awards with a minimum 10 percent set-aside for awards that support investments in persistent poverty communities and up to $3 million for CDFIs that support persons with disabilities.
  • $22 million for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative;
  • $16 million for Native CDFI Assistance Awards
  • $25 million for Bank Enterprise Awards
  • $27 million for Administrative costs and research

The bill also provides $500 million in guarantee authority for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

The strong showing of support from Congress in the omnibus legislation means our industry is well positioned as we turn to FY2019 CDFI Fund appropriations advocacy, but there is still more work to be done. The President’s FY2019 budget request once again recommended zeroing out the CDFI Fund grant programs. CDFIs need to urge Congress to continue its bipartisan support for the critical programs administered by the CDFI Fund.

The FY2019 appropriations process is already well underway in the House of Representatives. Earlier this month, OFN and our Members submitted appropriations requests to more than 175 House offices asking for full funding for the CDFI Fund in FY2019. Thank you to everyone who participated in those advocacy efforts! In addition, Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) led a FY2019 CDFI Fund Appropriations sign-on letter which garnered signatures from 114 Representatives! Rep. Maloney issued a press release highlighting the letter, and OFN encourages you to you to reach out and thank your Representative if they signed on to the letter

The Senate has also kicked off their FY 2019 appropriations cycle, with many offices currently accepting programmatic appropriations requests. We want to ensure the same robust support for the CDFI Fund in the Senate as in the House. Please contact your Senators today and ask them to support $250 million for the CDFI Fund in FY2019.

Thank you for your continued advocacy! For more information on OFN’s CDFI Fund appropriations advocacy, please feel free to contact me at dwilliams@ofn.org.

 

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