OFN’s 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. In 2018, OFN will actively engage its members and other CDFI supporters in advocating for:
- A strong and effective CDFI Fund. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, OFN is recommending an appropriation of $275 million and a continuation of the CDFI Bond Guarantee program with $500 million in guarantee authority
- The preservation and modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
- Federal programs including those at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Small Business Administration that strengthen CDFIs’ capacity to build communities
- Housing finance policies of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (Federal Home Loan Banks, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac) and their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, that address the needs of low and moderate-income households
- Tax policies impacting low-wealth communities such as the new Opportunity Zones tax benefit as well as more established community development tools like the New Markets Tax Credit and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs
- Other policies and programs impacting CDFIs as opportunities or threats arise
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.
CDFIs are private-sector financial institutions investing, lending, and delivering responsible affordable financial products and services to disinvested communities. CDFI Fund Financial Assistance awards generate as much as $12 from the private sector for every $1 invested by the CDFI Fund.
Contact Jennifer A. Vasiloff, Chief External Affairs Officer.
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.
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.
CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Recipients
To date, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program has guaranteed $1.1 billion in bond.
In FY 2017 program participants included a multi-party bond issued by OFN and an additional bond issued by OFN Member Community Reinvestment Fund, USA.
OFN's multi-party bond amounted to $145 million in bonds on behalf of eight Eligible CDFIs:
- Building Hope (Washington, DC) $25 million
- Coastal Enterprises, Inc., (Brunswick, ME) $20 million
- Community First Fund (Lancaster, PA) $10 million
- Florida Community Loan Fund (Orlando, FL) $30 million
- Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (St. Paul, MN) $10 million
- Homewise, Inc (Santa Fe, NM) $15 million
- Housing Trust Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA) $25 million
- Impact Seven (Rice Lake, WI) $10 million
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA issued a $100 million bond on behalf of Aura Mortgage Advisors, LLC (Aura), an affiliate of Boston Community Capital.
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 participated in the program and included the most diverse rural, urban, and Native service market for any bond issued under the program at the time. The participants in OFN’s first multiparty bond included:
- 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).
The first bond guarantees were issued in FY 2013 for $325 million. In FY 2014, the CDFI Fund guaranteed $225 million.