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Credit unions receive nearly 20% of total CDFI grant funding

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Nearly four dozen credit unions this week received a total of $32 million in grants from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

Those monies are on top of $3.5 million issued in September to 29 credit unions, for a total of $35.5 million spread across 75 institutions.

Overall the CDFI Fund awarded a total of $188.7 million in financial assistance to 288 institutions, including the credit unions, which received about 19% of total funding for the fiscal year.

The majority of the latest round of grants qualify as financial assistance, whereas the funding released earlier this year was for technical assistance, with 20 financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico receiving $125,000 each, the maximum available, to help with recovery in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Along with the $30 million in financial assistance issued this week, Hope Federal Credit Union in Jackson, Miss. Also received a $2 million award for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

Some of the larger financial assistance grants went to New Orleans Firemens Federal Credit Union, Metairie, La. ($1,029,000), Centric Federal Credit Union, Monroe, La. ($799,000) and Firstlight Federal Credit Union, El Paso, Texas ($799,000).

Of the 75 CUs to receive grant funding, 54 are members of Inclusiv.

Officials said the monies will enable CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities across the U.S. Specifically, the awards will be used to increase the volume of products and services (72% of recipients), provide new products and services (19%), expand into new geographic areas (8%), or serve new targeted populations (1%).

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