Contact: Rafael Morales, Communications Officer
212-809-1850 ext. 206
(December 14, 2005 - Washington, D.C.) Responding to the urging of the Federation and its allies, the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has extended its deadlines for submitting applications to the Fund. The Federation, the CDFI Coalition, and other organizations had protested the short, six-week turn around, combined with a new electronic application that the Fund had only announced last week.
The new deadline for financial assistance (FA) and technical assistance (TA) is now Monday, February 13, 2006 (5:00 p.m. EST), pushed back from January 23. For the Native American component (NACA), the new application deadline is Wednesday, March 1, 2006 (5:00 p.m. EST), pushed back from Tuesday, February 14, 2006. A total of $28.5 million in funding is available for the current round.
The Fund will continue to require an electronic application through the “grants.gov” system, unless an applicant makes a strong case that they have technical limitations that would prevent them from applying electronically. A request to submit a paper application must be sent to the CDFI Fund by January 6, 2006.
In its press release announcing the change, the CDFI Fund explained “that [although] ultimately the application process through Grants.gov will be simpler than its past electronic application, the Fund wants to provide applicants additional time to familiarize themselves with the new process.”
The Fund’s initial deadline had prompted widespread and vigorous opposition from community development advocates. In a letter to CDFI Fund Director Art Garcia on December 9, the Federation’s Executive Director, Cliff Rosenthal pointed out the progress made by the Fund in the past two years and described the Fund’s initial timeline as “a step backwards. The compressed deadline combined with new application procedures and the increasing bias against paper applications, may well exclude many of the Federation’s members from even considering applying to the Fund this year… this is the busiest time of year for our institutions, and the first part of January is taken up with year-end closings and the preparation of call reports for NCUA and state regulators.”
Jennifer Vasiloff, Executive Director of the Coalition of CDFIs, welcomed the Fund’s change. “I am very pleased that the CDFI Fund leadership responded so quickly to the CDFI industry’s concerns” said Vasiloff, praising the agency’s decision to extend application deadlines. “With the newly announced schedule for this year’s funding round, I am confident that the CDFI Fund will receive a high volume of qualified applications from interested CDFIs from across the country.”
The Federation co-founded the Coalition and is a member of its board.
The Federation’s Director of Technical Assistance, Brian Gately (firstname.lastname@example.org; 800-437-8711, ext. 201) is available to assist Federation members. However, the Federation is urging all potential applicants to follow closely the updates and other information available on the CDFI Fund’s website (http://www.cdfifund.gov).”