The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito, Chairman
Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations 172 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
The Honorable Christopher Coons, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations 127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Dear Chairman Capito and Ranking Member Coons:
CU Strategic Planning, an organization working with more than 500 credit unions nationwide, including 200 credit unions with the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designation serving over 5 million consumers, writes to you today to express strong support for the CDFI and for full funding of at least $248 million for FY 2018 and 2019 as the committee begins its work on bills for funding in these fiscal years.
Using $248 million as a starting point and considering an increase based on the budget framework recently passed would allow CDFI credit unions to assist small business owners with small and micro business loans, and many innovative first time and other mortgage programs as well as small consumer loans to combat the cycle of payday lending.
Additionally, we believe CDFI should be urged to restore the maximum Financial Assistance (FA) award to the previous level of up to $2 million per grant award to a CDFI institution.
CDFI is an effective federal government agency and an important part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It has been a significant partner for our credit union clients working to lend to small businesses, an effort that has resulted in the addition of more than 10,000 jobs to the economy. CDFI has also helped retain jobs that would otherwise be threatened. The partnership between credit unions and CDFI has also led to tens of thousands of small dollar loans and used auto loans that have helped low to moderate income families have access to affordable transportation to their jobs, helping families avoid utilizing other support programs. Additionally, housing projects with credit unions in urban and rural areas have helped thousands of American obtain the American dream of homeownership even though they were from low to moderate income families.
We regard sufficient funding for the CDFI Fund to be an essential part of Congress’ efforts to support infrastructure and economic empowerment in the nation, so we urge you to consider the CDFI Fund as a vital partner to credit unions that are the safe cooperatively owned places to save and borrow for more than 108 million Americans.
Michael V. Beall, Esq. Chief Strategic and Advocacy Officer