August 3, 2023

CDFI Fund: Application Demand Released for FY 2023 Round of BEA Program

Nearly $1.05 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) 2023 round of its Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). A total of 189 applications were received requesting awards of more than $296.8 million, which is over four times the amount available. The 189 applications represent a 17 percent increase in the number of applications compared to the last funding round. A total of $70 million is available for this round. BEA Program applicants are headquartered in 25 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 reporting period-known as the “baseline period”- to the next-known as the “assessment period.” BEA qualified activities support Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or residents and businesses located in economically distressed communities. Award amounts are calculated as a percentage of the increase in qualified activities.

During the assessment period (July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022), these 189 applicants collectively reported qualified activities totaling more than $4.63 billion. Based on those reported qualified activities, applicants demonstrated an increase of nearly $1.05 billion, above “baseline period” activity, in lending, investment and financial services in CDFIs and severely economically distressed communities as follows:

In addition, of the 189 applicants, 100 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 the fall of 2023.

This post was originally published here.