The purpose of the CDFI Program is to use federal resources to invest in CDFIs and to build their capacity to serve low-income people and communities that lack access to affordable financial products and services. Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund provides two types of monetary awards to CDFIs - Financial Assistance awards and Technical Assistance awards.
CDFIs may use the funds from the awards to 1) promote economic development, develop businesses, create jobs and develop commercial real estate; 2) develop affordable housing and promote homeownership; and 3) provide community development financial services, such as basic banking services, financial literacy programs, and alternatives to predatory lending.
A CDFI may use the FA award for financing capital, loan loss reserves, capital reserves or operations. FA awards are made in the form of equity investments, loans, deposits, or grants, and the CDFI is required to match its FA award dollar-for-dollar with non-federal funds of the same type as the award itself.
TA awards are made in the form of grants and can be used for a variety of purposes—for example, to purchase equipment, materials, supplies, or consulting or contracting services, or to pay the salaries and benefits of certain personnel and to train staff or board members.
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Business Eligibility for CDFI Programs: Eligibility for the financial products and services offered by Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) is determined by each CDFI based on the needs of the targeted communities and populations that they serve.
CDFI Entity Eligibility for Development Programs: CDFI Program Applicants may apply either as a Financial Assistance (FA) applicant or a Technical Assistance (TA) applicant, but not both.