Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced $18.1 million in grant awards to 83 FDIC-insured financial institutions for serving economically distressed communities across the nation. These funds are awarded under the fiscal year (FY) 2015 round of the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), and they will support economic development in census tract areas where at least 30 percent of the population lives at or below the national poverty level and where the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national average.
“I commend the 2015 Bank Enterprise Awards recipients for increasing lending and providing vital financial services in low-income communities across the nation,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “Through both direct investment and by supporting Community Development Financial Institution partners, these institutions are making a real difference.”
Today’s awards will build on efforts to invest in underserved communities. Collectively, during the one-year assessment period, these 83 depository institutions increased their loans and investments in distressed communities by $313.4 million; increased their loans, deposits, and technical assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) by $88.1 million; increased their equity and equity-like loans and grants to CDFIs by $4.1 million; and increased the provision of financial services in distressed communities by $7.5 million.
Since 2009, BEA Program award recipients have been required to invest an amount equal to the award in eligible activities in distressed communities. The $18.1 million awarded under the FY 2015 round of the BEA Program today will also be re-invested into distressed communities and CDFIs.
The FY 2015 BEA Program award recipients were selected after a comprehensive review of 103 applications received by the CDFI Fund from FDIC-insured depository institutions across the nation that requested more than $177 million in funding under the FY 2015 round. This is the largest number of BEA Program applicants since 2002.