CDFI Fund Awards $402 Million to 244 Credit Unions for Rapid Response Program
On Tuesday, Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the awards for the CDFI Fund’s Rapid Response Program (RRP). A total of 863 CDFIs, including 244 credit unions received grants, providing vital funding to underserved communities. These credit unions -- the vast majority of which are Inclusiv members -- received $402 million in grant funding.
RRP makes available $1.25 billion in grants to CDFIs to support, prepare for, and respond to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. RRP is the first major initiative included in the economic stimulus package that allocates $12 billion for grants and investments in CDFIs, MDIs and credit unions serving predominantly low income communities.
This funding is the direct result of a year-long advocacy effort led by Inclusiv with the support of industry partners and our mission-driven membership. Earlier this year, Inclusiv engaged with members of Congress including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Warner, Congresswoman Waters, and Congresswoman Velazquez, as well as CDFI Fund and Treasury officers to advocate for a simpler, formula based approach to facilitate the application process and expedite the deployment to CDFIs and MDIs. Inclusiv also provided guidance and hosted multiple webinars to increase our members' participation specifically for this unprecedented opportunity.
In addition, Inclusiv launched a CDFI awareness campaign in collaboration with CUNA Mutual Group and a growing number of credit union Leagues/Associations.
"Back in December, I fought to pass $12 billion dollars in funding to support CDFIs and MDIs working to help communities weather the pandemic. Today, I’m proud to see that the first tranche of funding distributed through the Rapid Response Program will be bolstering the efforts of the many community development credit unions working to help folks emerge from this crisis stronger than before. I applaud the Inclusiv network of credit unions for their commitment to serving some of our hardest-hit communities and I look forward to seeing these dollars in action," said U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA).
"Inclusiv is proud to see the crucial work of CDFI credit unions recognized and supported through $402 million in Rapid Response Program awards,” says Cathie Mahon, President and CEO of Inclusiv. “Every day, CDFI credit unions help their members build credit, start and grow small businesses, and fulfill the dream of car or homeownership. During COVID-19, CDFI credit unions quickly deployed resources to help those who suffered the pandemic’s disproportionate economic impact. They provided emergency relief loans; worked with members to modify consumer and mortgage loans, and made $7 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, which saved thousands of small businesses. The RRP grants for 244 CDFI credit unions will be channeled back to better develop and provide safe, accessible, and affordable products and services and to advance financial inclusion in underserved communities."
We congratulate all the 244 credit unions that received these awards. These funds will be used to significantly increase their capacity to meet the needs of financially underserved populations and economically distressed communities across the country.
Inclusiv is also pleased to share that $87 million were awarded to 62 MDI credit unions and another $47 million to 27 financial cooperatives from Puerto Rico, which serve minority populations.