Community Dividend


Published January 1, 2011  | January 2011 issue

U.S. Treasury awards a record amount to CDFIs. The U.S. Department of the Treasury has awarded a total of $104.8 million to 179 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) headquartered in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The amount represents the single largest round of funding the Treasury has ever provided for CDFIs.

A CDFI is a specialized entity that provides loans, investments, training, or other services in underserved or economically distressed areas. The Treasury's CDFI Fund, which certifies and provides support for CDFIs, allocated the record amount of awards through the 2010 round of its Financial and Technical Assistance programs. The CDFI Fund conducted a competitive review to select the 179 awardees from a pool of 408 applicants.

Sixteen of the financial and technical assistance awards, totaling nearly $10 million, went to organizations headquartered in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Twelve of the awards were in the amount of $750,000, which was the maximum award in the 2010 round of funding. Ninth District recipients are African Development Center, Minneapolis; CommunityWorks North Dakota, Mandan, N.D.; Eastern Dakota Housing Alliance, Fargo, N.D.; First Children's Finance, Minneapolis; Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Impact Seven, Almena, Wis.; Initiative Foundation, Little Falls, Minn.; Lake County Community Development Corporation, Ronan, Mont.; Montana Community Development Corporation, Missoula, Mont.; Montana HomeOwnership Network, Great Falls, Mont.; Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul, Minn.; Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Minneapolis; Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Virginia, Minn.; Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation, Sisseton, S.D.; Rural Electric Development, Madison, S.D.; and South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Opportunity Finance Network to assist in healthy foods initiative. In other news, the CDFI Fund has selected Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a national membership and advocacy organization for CDFIs, to conduct capacity-building activities in support of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). The HFFI is a collaboration among the federal departments of Treasury, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services to increase the availability of healthy, affordable foods in low-income communities. Under the initiative, the OFN will provide training and technical assistance to help CDFIs use federal grants, below-market-rate loans, loan guarantees, and tax credits to finance grocery stores and other food-related businesses in "food deserts"—low-income neighborhoods that have limited access to sources of fresh produce and other nutritious foods.