Chairwoman Velazquez Includes CDFIs in End-of-Year Legislative Push

Jamal Habibi

As the 116th Congress draws to a close, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) continues to advance legislation that would enhance lending opportunities for CDFIs.

On November 30, Chairwoman Velazquez introduced legislation that would reestablish the Federal-Financing Bank and Risk Sharing Program, which supported the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing across the country. The bill, H.R. 8824, or the Federal-Financing Bank Risk Sharing Act of 2020, would reauthorize this program and expand it to make CDFIs eligible for participation. The legislation would allow CDFIs to enter into risk-sharing agreements with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and therefore allow CDFIs to increase their efforts in financing affordable rental housing projects.

Additionally, on December 3, the House passed H.R. 7903, a House Small Business Committee bill that would extend the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Advantage (CA) Program for five years. The bipartisan bill was approved by the House Small Business Committee in the fall of 2020. The CA Program, which is set to expire in September 2022, is a pilot program to increase SBA-guaranteed loans to small businesses in underserved areas. CDFIs in the program play a vital role in providing capital and technical assistance to small businesses in communities underserved by traditional SBA lenders.

OFN’s Chief External Affairs Officer Jennifer A. Vasiloff praised Chairwoman Velazquez for her efforts: “Chairwoman Velazquez understands the important role CDFIs play in supporting small businesses and affordable housing projects in underserved communities. We are grateful for her support in these bills and look forward to working with her in the 117th Congress.”

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