CDFI Fund: FY 2016 Funding Round of BEA Program Opens

Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2016 application round for the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program). Application materials are now available on the BEA Program page of the CDFI Fund’s website in anticipation of the February 24, 2017 publication of the FY 2016 Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register. The FY 2016 NOFA makes up to $19 million available in awards to eligible Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured banks.

Through the BEA Program, the CDFI Fund provides monetary awards to FDIC-insured depository institutions that successfully demonstrate an increase in their investments in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or in their own lending, investing, or service activities in distressed communities. Distressed communities are defined as those where at least 30 percent 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.

BEA Program Overview 

The BEA Program provides formula-based grants to applicants for increasing Qualified Activities from a Baseline Period to a later Assessment Period. There are three categories of Qualified Activities:

  • CDFI Related Activities: Equity Investments, Grants, Equity-Like Loans, Loans, Deposits, and/or Technical Assistance provided to certified CDFIs.
  • Distressed Community Financing Activities: Direct lending or investment in the form of Affordable Home Loans, Affordable Housing Development Loans or Investments, Home Improvement Loans, Education Loans, Small Business Loans or Investments, Small Dollar Consumer Loans, or Commercial Real Estate Development Loans or Investments provided to residents or businesses located in distressed communities.
  • Service Activities: Financial products and services, such as Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts, Check Cashing, Financial Counseling, Individual Development Accounts, or Youth Savings Accounts provided to residents of distressed communities.

Full definitions of the Qualified Activities may be found in the BEA Program Regulations (Interim Rule) including information on two new sub-categories within the Distressed Community Financing Activities category. In addition, the CDFI Fund has increased the per unit value of certain Targeted Financial Services in the Service Activities category. The CDFI Fund has also made one significant update to the process for Reporting Qualified Activities in the FY 2016 BEA Application. FY 2016 Applicants are now required to complete Table 5 – Reporting BEA Qualified Activities – and report total Baseline Period and Assessment Period Amounts for every activity type within the category or subcategory for which a BEA Program Award is being sought. This includes individual activity types that an Applicant is not able to demonstrate an increase in and not seeking a BEA Program Award for. Finally, Applicants should note that Table 7: Estimated BEA Program Award Calculation is based on the actual transactions submitted for any individual activity an Applicant is able to demonstrate an increase in from the Baseline Period to the Assessment Period.

Deadlines 

Please reference the NOFA and application instructions for detailed information regarding the following application deadlines:

  • Part I of the application must be submitted through Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 5, 2017. 
  • Part II of the application must be submitted through the CDFI Fund’s Award Management Information System, or AMIS, by 5:00 p.m. EST on April 19, 2017. 

Application Materials 

In addition to being available through Grants.gov, the FY 2016 NOFA and a paper version of the application and instructions are available on the CDFI Fund’s website, www.cdfifund.gov/bea.   The electronic version of the application in AMIS will be released in approximately two weeks.

Webinars 

The CDFI Fund will be conducting two webinars to discuss the FY 2016 BEA Program funding round. These webinars will also include question and answer sessions. Full information can be found in the FY 2016 BEA Program Application Webinar Table.

For those unable to participate in the webinars, the presentation materials will be posted on the CDFI Fund’s website subsequent to the webinar dates.

Questions 

For more information on the BEA Program, please visit the BEA webpage of the CDFI Fund’s website: www.cdfifund.gov/bea. For questions regarding the BEA Program, please contact the CDFI Fund Help Desk at (202) 653-0421 or via email cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov.  The CDFI Fund will not answer questions about the FY 2016 round after 5:00 p.m. EST on April 17, 2017.

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