Bond Guarantee Program Reform

Bond Guarantee Program Reform

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From lower minimums to credit subsidies, OFN is advocating for a more CDFI-friendly program.

Throughout 2023, the OFN policy team has been working hard to advocate for and represent mission lenders on Capitol Hill and beyond. With Washington slowing down in August while Congress is in recess, we are taking stock of our progress. 

We are sharing a series of updates across all OFN federal policy priorities that advance our shared 2023 policy agenda.

President Biden’s fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal included a $10 million credit subsidy for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP). Translation: the program could take on more risk and help more CDFIs get their hands on long-term capital.

Established by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program enables CDFI financing for large-scale projects, including commercial real estate, housing units, charter schools, daycare center, healthcare facilities, and rural infrastructure projects, among other projects.  

The Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee agreed with the president – its FY 2024 spending bill also included the $10 million credit subsidy. This is a win for CDFIs.

The House version of the bill does not include the credit subsidy, but we’re on a mission to ensure the $10 million credit subsidy is included in the final spending bill for FY 2024.

Program Reforms to Increase Access

We’re not stopping there. We’re pushing for more reforms to the BGP. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) reintroduced their bill, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program Improvement Act of 2023, which would extend the program and lower the minimum bond issuance from $100 million to $25 million.

The House is seeking a Republican partner to introduce a companion bill. In the last Congress, a House version of a BGP reform bill, introduced by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), received bipartisan support and even passed the House. And interim CDFI Fund Director Marcia Sigal is all about making the BGP more accessible to more CDFIs.

Learn more about how OFN partners with the public sector to finance opportunity.

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