March 31, 2023

NAFCU launches CDFI Working Group

NAFCU logoNAFCU has launched a new working group for member credit unions focused on Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The group held its inaugural meeting Thursday to discuss recent updates, including the status of the CDFI Fund’s new application and ongoing blackout period.

During the meeting, participants reviewed proposed changes to the CDFI Certification Application; NAFCU has raised concerns to the CDFI Fund and lawmakers that the changes will restrict access to the fund and its resources. Earlier this year, the fund indefinitely delayed the release of the new application as it attempted to work through revisions after public comment.

In addition, President Joe Biden’s proposed 2024 budget included increased funding for the CDFI Fund, as well as money for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program and Community Development Revolving Loan Fund. Lawmakers are currently holding appropriations hearings to consider allocations; NAFCU noted that there are opportunities to further engage lawmakers on application and process concerns and the need for funding.

The CDFI Fund is currently in a blackout period and not accepting CDFI applications while it works on the revisions. The fund provided FAQs for the blackout period, which announced that organizations seeking certification for the first time prior to the blackout period will now be required to submit a new application within 12 months to demonstrate compliance to the new policies. 

The working group Thursday discussed the impact of this delay on funding, and the potential impact of and concerns with the new application. The group also reviewed issues with the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) loans; the Treasury Department closed the most recent round of ECIP applications at the end of February. NAFCU encourages any interested CDFI credit unions to join the working group, email our Senior Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Lewis Plush ( to join the group.