CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris addressed the 2019 OFN Conference crowd for the first time since she became director last year. Jodie began her remarks by reiterating the goals in the agency’s five-year plan and noting the industry’s growth in recent years:
“The growth curve of CDFI activity over the past several years has been impressive. From $3.6 billion of reported lending activity in 2016; $5 billion in 2017; $11.1 billion in 2018; and now, in 2019, its at $21.5 billion. It’s safe to say maintaining momentum has not been an issue.”
She went on to point out that, “CDFIs are still but a fraction of the financial services industry,” and to reaffirm the importance of increasing access to CDFI Fund programs for the industry. To that end, she highlighted upcoming capacity building programs in two areas: fundamentals of CDFI operations and facilitating growth, innovation, and partnerships.
Jodie also announced the CDFI Fund’s commitment to providing peer-based and other training programs: “We are working on a training and technical assistance opportunity that leverages the peer network and expertise that already exist in the CDFI network. This training will be available to the greater CDFI and mission-based lender community. We fully expect that it will encompass all of the elements and touch-points that CDFIs highlighted in their survey responses.”
See more 2019 OFN Conference highlights — speaker videos, session materials, photos, and blog recaps — at conference.ofn.org!