Today, OFN released the following statement expressing disappointment with the Trump Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget proposal that eliminates funding for CDFI Fund grants.

“Our national network of community development financial institutions is very disappointed that the Administration has proposed an initial budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 that zeroes out federal support for this vital Treasury Department program. The CDFI Fund is the largest single source of equity for CDFIs and has been instrumental in spurring economic growth in the many rural, urban, and Native communities that lack adequate access to capital. Eliminating CDFI Fund funding in FY 2018 will result in fewer investment dollars flowing into communities that are in most need of responsible loans and financial services. For every $1 in CDFI Fund awards, CDFIs generate $12 in financing to communities and residents left out of the economic mainstream.* We count on this Administration to be pro-jobs and to focus on those left behind—that is exactly who benefits from the CDFI Fund. We now look to Congress to restore this vital funding in the annual appropriations process.” — Lisa Mensah, OFN President and CEO.  

What You Can Do

Congress can now start the FY18 appropriations process and take steps to ensure the CDFI Fund is fully funded in FY18.

OFN is taking the lead in helping our industry mobilize to urge Congress to ensure full funding for the CDFI Fund in FY18. We are extending our highly-successful #CDFIsInvest campaign into a year-long effort. Please join us—to date CDFI advocacy and participation has helped the campaign reach more than 2.2MM social media impressions! 

In addition to joining the campaign, below is a list of actions you can take in March to help protect CDFI Fund funding in FY18:

  • Submit a FY18 appropriations request to your member of Congress. You can submit a request asking your member of Congress to fund the CDFI Fund at $250 million in FY18. Many congressional offices have an appropriations request form you will need to complete. Deadlines vary from office to office. You must act now since the deadline for your Member to weigh-in with the House Financial and Services General Government subcommittee is Wednesday, March 29. OFN has prepared a fact sheet with information needed to complete an appropriations request form. If you have any questions, please contact Dafina Williams at dwilliams@ofn.org.
  • Sign up for OFN's Advocacy Day May 16-17. Join OFN Members and CDFI Allies in D.C. to make the case directly to Congress for full funding of the CDFI Fund in FY18. The deadline for registration is Friday, March 24. Space is limited.
  • Schedule a congressional site visit. Members of Congress and their staffs can gain a more in-depth understanding of the work CDFIs do in their communities by visiting projects and meeting with borrowers. Send a request to your member of Congress to schedule a site visit during the next congressional recess, April 10-21. OFN has prepared a congressional site visit toolkit to assist you with your planning and advocacy efforts.

Please reach out to me with any questions at: llopez@ofn.org.

*Editors Note: The figure restated by OFN on 3.22.2017 reflects CDFI financing ratios instead of capital leverage ratios.

 

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