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 Department of Treasury, and in 2015 is authorized to issue up to 7 Bonds for up to $750 million. The minimum Bond issue is $100 million. Find application details here.
Designed to operate at no cost to taxpayers, the BGP enables participating CDFIs to expand and deepen their work towards economic growth and opportunity. For all.
OFN is an approved Qualified Issuer (QI) under the BGP. QIs assemble and submit applications for the BGP and issue Bonds on behalf of the applicant CDFIs.
In 2013, OFN was part of the inaugural round of Bond guarantees and issued the first ever CDFI Bond, a $100 million Bond on behalf of Clearinghouse CDFI for community development financing in California and Nevada. In 2015, OFN expects to submit additional applications on behalf of Member CDFIs.
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 the expansion of the BGP through alternative financing structures, to its role as an approved and experienced Qualified Issuer, OFN is committed to help this program realize its full potential.
In 2013, the CDFI Fund approved three Bonds totaling $325 million and in 2014, the Fund approved and closed $225 million. Learn more about information on the application status of the Bond Guarantee Program.
Participate in the Bond
Eligible CDFIs must demonstrate financial strength, experienced management, and provide strong collateral to be considered for the BGP. CDFIs must also be able to borrow a minimum of $10 million from the Federal Government.
Engage a Qualified issuer
To participate in a Bond issuance, CDFIs must first engage a Qualified Issuer (QI). The QI acts as Program Administrator and Servicer for the Bond Issue, much as a Bond Authority or State Finance Agency does for private activity bonds. QIs also apply for Guarantees and issue Bonds on behalf of CDFIs.
All Bond proceeds are passed through QIs to Eligible CDFIs, and must be used to finance eligible activities, including affordable, multifamily rental housing and home ownership, community facilities, charter schools, community health clinics, small business, and commercial real estate.
To learn more about how your CDFI can partner with OFN to apply for the Bond Guarantee Program, review the information below and contact Beth Lipson via email or at 215.320.4315.
CDFI Eligibility Criteria
CDFIs must be certified by the CDFI Fund and considered credit worthy, with a lending track record indicative of its ability to use Bond proceeds for its proposed purpose. See resources for more about eligibility.
In addition to being fully liable for repayment of principal and interest, CDFIs must pledge eligible collateral (real estate, equipment, accounts receivable, etc.) that meets CDFI Fund-mandated requirements (maximum loan-to-value, valuation requirements, etc.) sufficient to cover principal outstanding and interest under the Bond Guarantee.
If a CDFI borrows less than $100 million at any one time under the Program, it must participate in a group issuance, as no Bond Guarantee can be issued for less than $100 million.
In addition to pledging loan receivables (secondary loans made with Bond proceeds by the CDFI) as collateral for Bond borrowings, CDFIs are required to post 3% of all outstanding Bond principal (which can’t be funded with Bond proceeds) as cash collateral for the life of the Bond (Risk Share Pool). While in a multiple-CDFI Bond issuance (multiple CDFIs band together to issue a $100 million Bond), an individual CDFI is only responsible for repaying its own Bond borrowings, its 3% cash Risk Share Pool is available to repay unpaid Bond principal of other CDFIs that participate in the same Bond Guarantee issuance (cross collateralized).
Advocate for the Bond
OFN leads national efforts to fully fund and reauthorize the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) at $1 billion per year. We also work closely with the opportunity finance industry and the CDFI Fund to advance changes to the BGP that would make it accessible to the widest possible spectrum of CDFIs.
In its current form, the BGP is an attractive source of financing for CDFIs that can absorb at least $10 million of debt, engage in real estate-based financing (perceived to be safer by U.S. Treasury), and pledge collateral against bond borrowings (required by U.S. Treasury). Part of OFN’s advocacy work includes expanding the BGP so that CDFIs engaged in micro or small business lending, and CDFIs that have significant amounts of unsecured debt—i.e. financing and capital structures that often don’t rely on hard collateral—are also able to take advantage of the significant benefits of the BGP.
To help us shape the direction and ensure the future of the BGP, join the CDFI Bond Alliance and advocate for a program that is meaningful for CDFIs of all sizes. Work with us to make this program into one that provides opportunity. For all.
Focus on: The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. Read up on the Program in this incisive new fact sheet. Gain new perspective on the program and learn more about how your CDFI might benefit and apply.
CDFI Fund’s Application Workshop Presentations. These two presentations (Day 1 Presentation and Day 2 Presentation) provide a general overview of the Bond Guarantee Program by introducing prospective applicants to the Program applications and review processes, the Program’s key entities and their roles, and the Program’s requirements. Bond Issue case studies are also used to provide concrete examples of the Program’s components.
Interim Rule and Notice of Guarantee Authority (NOGA). The Interim Rule and NOGA further explain the Program’s components and provide in-depth detail regarding application submission and evaluation requirements and processes, agency contacts, and information on CDFI Bond Guarantee Program outreach.
Qualified Issuer and Guarantee Applications. These applications are for becoming a Qualified Issuer (QI) and for demonstrating (Guarantee Application) to the Fund that the QI and its Eligible CDFIs meet all of the required criteria to receive a Guarantee and can carry out all of the Guarantee requirements. The Guarantee includes a Secondary Capital Distribution Plan that requires Eligible CDFIs to demonstrate comprehensive plans for lending, disbursing, servicing and monitoring Secondary Loans, including a description of how the proposed Secondary Loans will meet Eligible Purposes.
Legal Documents. These documents contain the program regulations and legal rules. They include the: Agreement to Guarantee, Bond Trust Indenture, Bond Loan Agreement, and Secondary Loan Requirement—General Requirements, and Secondary Loan Requirements—Underwriting Review Checklist.