Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2017 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 the publication of the FY 2017 Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in today’s Federal Register. The FY 2017 NOFA makes up to $23 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 earn an income that is 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).
There are limited changes to the FY 2017 BEA Program from the prior funding year. The changes include: a Congressional mandate that at least 10 percent of the CDFI Fund’s FY 2017 appropriations be directed to counties that meet the criteria for “Persistent Poverty” designation; increasing the percentage for the CDFI Equity Investments sub-category to be 18 percent for CDFIs and non-CDFIs, aligning it with the maximum percentage given for CDFI Support Activities sub-category; the review and selection process impacted by Persistent Poverty Counties mandate; and reporting requirements for award recipients who made commitments to serve Persistent Poverty Counties.
Please reference the FY 2017 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 November 16, 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 November 30, 2017.
In addition to being available through Grants.gov, the FY 2017 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 to three weeks.
The CDFI Fund will be conducting two webinars to discuss the FY 2017 BEA Program funding round. These webinars will also include question and answer sessions. Full information can be found on the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov/bea under Step 1: Apply.
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.
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CDFI Fund will not answer questions about the FY 2017 round after 5:00 p.m. EST on November 28, 2017.