OFN’s 2023 Policy Priorities Advocate for CDFI Growth and an Inclusive Economy

OFN shares its 2023 federal policy priorities and offers new tools and resources to help CDFIs and industry partners advocate for increased federal investment in CDFIs and expanded partnerships across more government agencies. 

As the leading network of CDFIs, OFN advocates for public policies that strengthen rural, urban, and Native communities and advance social, economic, and racial justice.  

Toward our mission, we identify targeted federal policy priorities to help drive fair lending and financial inclusion, environmental justice, community development, and capital for low-income, low-wealth communities. 

Our 2023 Policy Agenda
Capitol building

In 2023, we’re focused on areas that increase capital for CDFIs, encourage partnerships with new federal agencies, promote equitable green finance, support affordable housing, and more. We aim to: 

  • Secure $1 billion in grant funding for CDFIs from across the federal government. 
  • Increase CDFI access to federal lending programs. 
  • Expand the role for CDFIs in clean energy and climate resiliency finance. 
  • Boost private investment in communities through tax incentives. 
  • Advance polices that promote consumer protection and fair lending. 
  • Modernize the CDFI Fund’s programs and certification process. 

Hear more about this 2023 policy agenda in our recent federal policy update webinar that covers the latest news from Washington: CDFI Fund appropriations, the regulatory landscape (including the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other Inflation Reduction Act programs), updates to CDFI certification, as well as President Biden’s FY 2024 budget proposal and what it means for CDFIs. (Webinar slides are available here.) 

An Update from Treasury 

Deputy assistant secretary for Community Economic Development Noel Andrés Poyo joined the webinar as a special guest. He shared his views on challenges and opportunities facing CDFIs.  

“It’s been an exciting two years to be in the CDFI industry, to be in the CDFI space, as a practitioner, policymaker, and funder,” said Poyo, who headed the CDFI National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders before assuming the Treasury position in 2021.  

“Over the past two years, we have seen the capacity, the ability of CDFIs to respond to crisis in a way that we just had never seen before. CDFIs were on the minds and lips of policymakers, as we were responding to the COVID crisis. No longer is ‘CDFI’ the best kept secret of our domestic economic policy… CDFIs are on the front pages, they’re being highlighted the highest levels of our policy. And I think it’s now a place where lots of people want to be — in the CDFI space.” 

Noel Andrés Poyo, deputy assistant secretary for Community Economic Development, and Dafina Williams, OFN’s executive vice president of external affairs, on challenges and opportunities for CDFIs
Noel Andrés Poyo, deputy assistant secretary for Community Economic Development, and Dafina Williams, OFN’s executive vice president of external affairs, during 2023 OFN federal policy update webinar.

Poyo reviewed the Treasury Department’s agenda for this year, discussing key issues for CDFIs of all sizes — CDFI certification reforms and Equitable Recovery Program grants. He promised more information on each soon.  

Join Us in the Fight for CDFIs and Our Communities  

We invite everyone with a stake in the communities CDFIs serve and the areas where CDFIs work to advocate with us. We’re making it easier for you with tools and resources that support advocacy work with federal policymakers.  

Visit our new OFN Policy Action Center and download our updated advocacy fact sheets on the following topics: 

In case you missed it, watch the policy webinar here. Keep up with our policy actions and latest from OFN on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the OFN blog.  

Take Action with OFN
Visit our policy action center for information, tools, and other resources to help you advocate on behalf of CDFIs and the communities they serve. 

Attend OFN’s Southwest Regional Meeting 
Join fellow CDFI practitioners and partners at OFN’s Southwest Regional Meeting on April 26, in Phoenix, Arizona. Register Now!

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