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Latest round of CDFI grants hits new record

Twenty-nine credit unions and financial cooperatives across nine states and Puerto Rico received a total of $3.6 million in technical assistance awards from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund last week, the largest number of CUs and cooperatives ever to receive awards in a single funding round.

The monies are expected to help CFDI-certified institutions better serve low-income communities and underserved consumers.

“The results of this grant round demonstrate the growing recognition of the critical work community development credit unions are doing in their communities to promote financial inclusion by creating more inclusive and equitable local economies,” said Cathie Mahon, CEO of Inclusiv, said in a statement.

This latest round of funding is notable for the fact that 20 financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico received a total of $2.5 million ($125,000 each, the maximum amount available) to help with recovery and rebuilding following Hurricane Maria.

“We are grateful to see this deployment of resources to community owned CDCU’s that have become engines of local revitalization throughout Puerto Rico,” said Pablo DeFilippi, SVP of Membership and Network Engagement at Inclusiv. “This is the first time in the island’s history that financial cooperatives received such a substantial investment from the U.S. Treasury Department.”

News of these awards comes as Congress debates how to fund the CDFI Fund for the coming fiscal year. As reported, the House and Senate bills differ by about $50 million, and observers hope to see this year’s final allocation meet or exceed that of previous years. While President Trump’s budget proposals have in the past attempted to eliminate CDFI funding, lawmakers continue to put money toward it.

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