CDFI Key Priorities

CDFIs Lend Where it Counts

Economic opportunity is one cornerstone of a free and just nation. It often starts with access to capital through loans. These loans then support anchors of the vibrant communities where we all want to live: jobs, affordable housing and health centers, libraries and schools, and other essentials.

Yet, millions of bright, talented, hardworking Americans can’t access fair capital because of racial, social, economic, or geographic discrimination or because they don’t have experience or assets to leverage. The COVID-19 pandemic, a growing wealth gap, and persistent poverty have deepened these capital challenges, particularly for Black, Latino, Native, and rural communities.

We drive capital to people and places underserved by mainstream finance to support small businesses, affordable housing, community facilities, health care, energy efficient development, and more.

These challenges are the key priorities of CDFIs. We lend where it counts to help people start businesses, buy homes, and build wealth. Our investments in people and places help communities thrive.

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

Across the U.S., millions of families are unable to afford a safe, decent, energy-efficient place to rent or buy. Quality stock doesn’t exist, or they are priced out of it. CDFIs finance affordable housing development and many offer home mortgages for people with low-incomes who dream of homeownership.

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Key Priority: Covid 19 Relief and Recovery

CDFIs & COVID-19

Communities hardest hit by COVID-19’s economic impact are the communities CDFIs have served for decades. Nationwide, CDFIs are financial first responders that help small businesses, nonprofits, and homeowners survive the pandemic with flexible payment terms, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, and counseling and guidance.

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Climate Change and Resilience

Climate Change & Resilience

Low-income communities are unequally impacted by climate change. They are more likely to be exposed to climate change risks and are more susceptible to its damage. Many CDFIs finance climate change solutions, including sustainable businesses and energy efficiency upgrades and development.

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Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities

The pillars of healthy lives and communities are healthy food, accessible, affordable health care, and consumer-focused financial institutions. But nationwide many communities are healthy food, health care, and bank deserts. CDFIs use traditional and innovative solutions to bring these vital assets to communities needing them most.

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Key Priority: Native Finance

Native Finance

Indian country is extremely underserved by mainstream finance — reservations and tribal lands are often bank deserts. CDFIs — Native and otherwise — fill the tremendous gaps in economic opportunity for Native peoples, especially in rural areas, providing access to credit, equity, and financial support.

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Persistent Poverty

Persistent Poverty

Defined as 20 percent or more of an area’s population living in poverty for 30 years or more, persistent poverty affects 37 million people nationwide. Roughly 40 percent of CDFI lending is in persistent poverty areas across America.

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Racial Equity

Racial Equity

All Americans deserve a fair chance to grow wealth for themselves and their families. But the racial wealth gap continues to make it nearly impossible for millions of Black Americans and other people of color to build financial health. CDFIs are committed to helping close the racial wealth gap and advance racial equity.

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Key Priority: Rural Development

Rural Development

Rural America is filled with strength and opportunity but is too often underestimated and underinvested by traditional lenders. CDFIs believe rural communities are worthy of investment. Many finance rural growth and talent.

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Small Business

Small Business

For new and budding entrepreneurs, especially from minority communities, small business startup and growth financing is elusive. Where traditional lenders see risk, CDFIs see opportunity and lend to hardworking people who may not fit typical small business lending criteria.

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CDFIs provide responsible capital and much more

Unlike traditional banks, CDFIs specialize in lending to individuals, organizations, and businesses in under-resourced communities, offering borrowers the financial education, business coaching, and low-interest rate loans to increase their economic potential.

Related

What is a CDFI?

CDFIs invest in people and places not credit boxes.

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CDFI Clients Have a Vision

CDFI clients are hardworking people with a dream for themselves and their families.

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CDFIs are Everywhere

CDFIs work in rural, urban, and Native communities nationwide.

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