Federal Policy Issues

  • OFN's federal advocacy work is grounded

  • in the direct market experiences of our Members.

 

Overview

OFN’s FY 2017 appropriations request is $250 million in appropriations for the CDFI Fund and a continuation of the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP). In FY 2016, the CDFI Fund received $233.5 million in appropriations for the CDFI Fund and a continuation of the BGP with $750 million in guarantee authority.

About the CDFI Fund

The CDFI Fund was established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, as a bipartisan initiative. Its mission is to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations and in distressed communities in the United States.

About CDFIs

CDFIs are private-sector financial institutions investing, lending, and delivering responsible, affordable financial products and services to disinvested communities. According to CDFI Fund data “between 2005 and 2012 there was $12 in lending activity for every $1 in awards provided by the Fund.”

Learn More

Contact Liz Lopez, Executive Vice President, Public Policy.

2016 Policy Priorities

In 2016, OFN will continue to engage its Members and other CDFI supporters in advancing our policy priorities.

Improve CDFI Access to Federal Resources

  • Increase FY 2017 CDFI Fund appropriations level above FY 2016.
  • Continue the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program through FY 2017, increase the number of CDFIs using the program in 2016 and beyond, and make the program easier for CDFIs to use.
  • Seek permanent authorization of the New Markets Tax Credit and expand access to the program for CDFIs.
  • Create and expand CDFI access to other federal programs.

Increase State Resources for CDFIs

  • Help CDFIs leverage the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and other related programs.
  • Support Member CDFI advocacy at the state level.

Get Involved

We want all OFN Members, Allies, and other CDFIs to participate in our advocacy work. To that end, OFN offers tools and opportunities to support their participation.

  • Participate in OFN's annual Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. in May. This event serves to further OFN’s legislative and policy priorities before members of Congress and executive branch officials.
  • Join OFN’s CDFI Coverage Map, an interactive, national map of CDFI loans that is a key tool in our national and state advocacy work.
  • Participate in OFN’s working groups and coalitions to advance our shared policy priorities.

For more information about OFN’s policy priorities please contact Liz Lopez at llopez@ofn.org.

CDFI Bond Guarantee Program

The CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP), enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is an innovative federal credit program that offers credit-worthy, certified CDFIs access to affordable long-term capital. The BGP is administered by the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and in FY 2016 is authorized to issue up to seven bonds for up to $750 million.  

Designed as a zero cost federal program—operating at no cost to taxpayers—the BGP enables participating CDFIs to expand and deepen their work towards economic growth and opportunity. 

OFN has led industry efforts in helping to create this transformative source of capital for CDFIs and their borrowers. From initial efforts to get the legislation created and passed, to support for the continuation of the program, to OFN’s role as an approved and experienced Qualified Issuer (QI), OFN is committed to help this program realize its full potential.

To help us shape the direction and ensure the future of the BGP, OFN Members are encouraged to stay informed through our regular policy communications and on CDFI Connect, OFN’s blog, as well as take part in our annual Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. 

CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Recipients

The first bond guarantees were issued in FY 2013 for $325 million. In FY 2014, the CDFI Fund guaranteed $225 million.

In FY 2015, the CDFI Fund guaranteed nine bonds for $327 million. OFN issued a multiparty bond to seven OFN Members making this the first time lenders with less than $50 million in assets have participated in the program and included the most diverse rural, urban, and Native service market for any bond issued under the program. The participants in OFN’s multiparty bond include:

  • Bridgeway Capital (Pittsburg, PA) $15 million
  • Chicago Community Loan Fund (Chicago, IL) $28 million
  • Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (Shawnee, OK) $16 million
  • Community Ventures (Lexington, KY) $15 million
  • Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (Berea, KY) $15 million
  • Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (London, KY) $10 million
  • New Jersey Community Capital (New Brunswick, NJ) $28 million

OFN also closed a $100 million bond issue with Clearinghouse CDFI (Lake Forest, CA). The Community Reinvestment Fund, USA issued a $100 million bond on behalf of La Raza Development Fund (both OFN Members).

 

 

Advocacy Day

OFN’s Advocacy Day is held every May in Washington, D.C. It is an excellent opportunity for members of Congress and their staffs to hear directly from our network about the great work they lead every day to increase access to capital in urban, rural, and Native communities.

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