January 31, 2022

CDFI Fund: Application Demand for FY 2021 Round of BEA Program Released

Over $1.1 Billion in Increased Investments, Lending and Services in Highly Distressed Communities and to CDFIs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced today the application data for the fiscal year (FY) 2021 round of its Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). A total of 161 applications were received requesting awards of more than $288 million, which is over double the amount request last round and over 11 times the amount available. A total of $26 million is available for this round. BEA Program applicants are headquartered in 24 states and the District of Columbia. 

The BEA Program provides an incentive for FDIC-insured financial institutions to increase lending, investments, and financial services (qualified activities) in the most severely economically distressed communities. Under the BEA Program, distressed communities are defined as census tracts where at least 30% of residents have incomes that are less than the national poverty level and where the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national unemployment rate.

The BEA Program requires applicants to demonstrate an increase in qualified activities from one annual reporting period—known as the “baseline period”— to the next—known as the “assessment period.” BEA qualified activities are provided to Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or residents and businesses located in these economically distressed communities. Award amounts are calculated as a percentage of the increase in qualified activities.

During the one-year assessment period (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020), these 161 applicants collectively reported qualified activities totaling more than $3.2 billion. Based on those reported qualified activities, applicants demonstrated an increase of over $1.1 billion, above “baseline period” activity, in lending, investment and financial services in CDFIs and severely economically distressed communities as follows:

In addition, of the 161 applicants, 95 have made commitments to deploy a portion of their award in Persistent Poverty Counties (PPCs). PPCs are counties, including county equivalent areas in Puerto Rico, where 20% or more of the population has lived in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau or any other territory or possession of the United States that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the Island Areas Decennial Censuses, or equivalent data of the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

Applications are currently under review and the CDFI Fund anticipates announcing awards in spring 2022.

This post was originally published here.