The Trump Administration's budget, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, proposes cutting the CDFI Fund budget to $19 million for fiscal 2018, a reduction of more than 90% from the current level of $233.5 million.
The Administration's dramatic reduction of funding to the CDFI Fund will negatively impact its stated goal to invest in America's infrastructure. CDFIs are one of the most effective mechanisms to channel capital into under-resourced communities. CDFIs, and specifically CDFI credit unions, provide affordable credit to consumers, boost entrepreneurship, expand businesses and facilitate homeownership.
The CDFI Fund is one of the Federal government's best market-based strategies for leveraging private dollars to restore economic vitality to low-income communities.
CDFI credit unions leverage at least $12 of private capital for every $1 of public investment.
These investments generate billions of dollars annually in the form of loans to grow businesses, create jobs, increase job mobility, expand access to affordable healthcare and childcare, to build and improve homes, and create greater financial capability to expand consumer purchasing power.
The Federation was instrumental in establishing the CDFI Fund in 1994, is a CDFI intermediary, is a permanent member of the national CDFI coalition, and is the advocate for CDFI credit unions to the CDFI Fund and the US Treasury Department. The Federation promotes the financial independence and well-being of working families and communities by expanding access to safe, responsible financial credit union products and services. We represent more than 280 credit unions that have been certified as CDFIs. Their purpose is to help low-income, rural and urban communities join the economic mainstream. Together these certified CDFI credit unions serve more than 7.4 million members with more than $70 billion in combined assets in urban and rural communities across 46 states.
We urge credit unions to engage with their Congressional Representatives to support the FY2017 House recommendation of $250 million for the CFDI Fund. The CDFI Fund Coalition has created Appropriations Request Templates, a form that most Representatives require from organizations making appropriation requests. We also urge all credit unions to sign the CDFI Appropriations Support Letter before the deadline of March 20, 2017.