President Obama’s proposed budget for FY17 requested $245.9 million for the CDFI Fund—a $12.4 million increase from the amount approved last year—and a continuation of the BGP with $1 billion in guarantee authority. OFN has been actively working, with your help, to secure an increase in CDFI Fund Appropriations for FY17 and a continuation of the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP).  

Congressional Outreach to Date:

OFN hosted a briefing in February for Congressional staff titled, “CDFIs 101: The Funding Path from Congress through CDFIs to Borrowers.”  There was so much interest in this briefing that the event was standing room only! More than 60 congressional staffers from both parties and both chambers of Congress engaged with OFN staff, CDFI practitioners, and their borrowers, on how CDFIs can deploy capital where it is needed.

Following the success of our briefing, OFN began targeted outreach to key congressional offices. More than 100 letters were submitted by OFN Members to their members of Congress, asking for support the President’s budget request for the CDFI Fund. Using these letters to demonstrate the broad grassroots support for CDFI funding, OFN met with more than 25 congressional offices in person and hand-delivered physical copies of the appropriations request letters to more than 75 congressional offices.           

Next steps:

We expect the House and Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations subcommittees to mark-up their drafts of the appropriations legislation in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for OFN’s policy updates!

Your Voice Can Make a Difference!

More than 70 CDFI practitioners will be on Capitol Hill Wednesday, May 25 to share their #CDFIstory with members of Congress and their congressional staff.  Even if you cannot make it, you can still voice your support for funding of CDFI programs by participating in OFN’s Virtual Advocacy Day using #CDFIstory on Twitter. Legislators are far more likely to support funding for a program if they see how it impacts their communities—so show them how your CDFI is spurring economic opportunity in their states and districts!

Photo Credit: NCALL

 

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