(January 13, 2010 – Washington, DC) The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced yesterday that five additional credit unions and a credit union service organization (CUSO) have been certified as CDFIs, bringing the total number of CDFI-certified CDCUs to 165 institutions, representing nearly 20% of all CDFIs. Of the newly certified CDFIs four are members of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and nearly all received assistance from the Federation with the CDFI application process.
Ruth Artis, Manager and CEO of B.O.N.D. Community CU in Atanta, Georgia, was especially pleased to hear about receiving their certification. “We have been a longtime member of the Federation, but like many other credit unions our members are going through extremely difficult economic times, and this affects our performance,” she explained. “We are hopeful that the CDFI Fund will be a source of funding to enable us get through these challenges and allow us to help more of our members who are in need.”
“We are grateful to the Federation for all their assistance, with special thanks to Cliff Rosenthal who visited us onsite to brainstorm on ways to deal with our financial situation. He also approved our membership dues reduction request and volunteered members of his staff to work in tandem with our consultant to help us become certified as inexpensively as possible,” she said.
Over the past year, the Obama administration has made the CDFI Fund one of its key programs in spurring small business development in low-income communities, and Congress recently approved a FY2010 appropriation of $246.75 million dollars, a record-high appropriation, which more than doubles any previous yearly appropriation.
“The CDFI Fund has become the game in town in terms of growth capital to credit unions,” explained Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “CDFI Fund awards allow CDCUs to grow and expand into new communities, as well as to implement high-impact programs that meet the financial needs of underserved communities in a way that builds wealth rather than strips it. Nearly all our member CDCUs qualify for the designation, consequently we have been focusing our efforts to get more of them certified,” he added.
In addition to providing one-on-one consulting, the Federation’s CDFI assistance offerings include access to application templates and a variety of instructional webinars to help CDCUs navigate the Fund’s stringent certification and application procedures.
The newly certified credit union organizations include:
- B.O.N.D. Community Development FCU (Atlanta, GA)
- Bradley Initiative CU (Cleveland, TN)
- El Paso Credit Union Affordable Housing, LLC (El Paso, TX)
- Friendship Community FCU (Clarksdale, MS)
- Monroe Education Employees FCU (Monroeville, AL)
- Valued Members CU (Jackson, MS)
© 2010 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.