CDFI Fund: FY 2018 Funding Round for CDFI Program and NACA Program Opened

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). The awards from these programs will support Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) providing affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital, and financial services.

The CDFI Fund plans to award approximately $196.5 million in FY 2018 in Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) awards (subject to Congressional appropriation) to be divided as follows: $181 million for CDFI Program awards and $15.5 million in NACA Program awards, including awards for investments in Persistent Poverty Counties and $22 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance (HFFI-FA) awards. In addition, the CDFI Fund also plans to award $2.5 million in Disability Financial Assistance (DF-FA) awards.

As of today’s release, the CDFI Fund is operating under a continuing funding resolution as enacted by the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-120). The total amount of funds available for the FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program round is contingent upon passage of final FY 2018 appropriations legislation. Assistance levels outlined in the Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for the CDFI Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and the NACA Program reflect FY 2017 funding levels, but are subject to revision or cancellation based upon enactment of a final FY 2018 appropriations bill. The CDFI Fund will update applicants when final budget authority is available for the FY 2018 round.

CDFI Program Overview

Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to serve low-income people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. The CDFI Fund invests in certified CDFIs by providing FA awards to applicants that have demonstrated the financial and managerial capacity to deliver financial products and services to a low-income target market and to leverage additional resources effectively. Through TA awards, the CDFI Fund enables certified CDFIs and emerging entities working toward CDFI certification to build their capacity as lending institutions. For additional details about eligibility, application requirements, and available funding under the CDFI Program, please view the CDFI Program NOFA.

NACA Program Overview

Through the NACA Program, the CDFI Fund encourages the creation and strengthening of CDFIs that primarily serve Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities (Native Communities). Organizations funded serve a wide range of Native Communities, and reflect a diversity of institutions in various stages of development – from organizations in the early planning stages of creating a CDFI, to tribal entities working to certify an existing lending program, to established CDFIs in need of further assistance. The CDFI Fund makes both FA and TA awards under the NACA Program. For additional details about eligibility, application requirements, and available funding under the NACA Program, please view the NACA Program NOFA.

Healthy Food Financing Initiative-Financial Assistance Overview

In FY 2018, HFFI-FA will serve as a supplemental funding opportunity under the CDFI Program and NACA Program for eligible CDFIs and Native CDFIs that express an interest in expanding their healthy food-focused financing activities and are selected to receive FA awards under the FY 2018 rounds of the CDFI Program or NACA Program. For additional details about eligibility, application requirements, and available funding under the HFFI-FA program, please view the CDFI Program and/or NACA Program NOFAs.

Disability Funds-Financial Assistance Overview

In FY 2018, DF-FA will serve as a supplemental funding opportunity under the CDFI Program and NACA Program for eligible CDFIs and Native CDFIs that express an interest in expanding financing activities and services for persons with disabilities and are selected to receive FA awards under the FY 2018 rounds of the CDFI Program or NACA Program.

Applicants must indicate their interest in applying for DF-FA funding in their CDFI Program and/or NACA Program Financial Assistance application. Those applicants that successfully submit an FA application and indicate their interest in DF-FA will receive supplemental instructions regarding how to apply for DF-FA funding after the close of the FY 2018 application submission period. For additional details about eligibility, application requirements, and available funding under the DF-FA program, please view the CDFI Program and/or NACA Program NOFAs.

Application Materials

Reference copies of the NOFAs and all application materials can be found on the CDFI Fund’s website at:

The CDFI Fund will be adding guidance materials on a rolling basis to the website. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read and view all application materials, including the NOFA, application guidance, webinars, and presentations.

Required Application Systems

All applicants must be registered in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS to apply for funding by March 2, 2018, or their application will be considered ineligible. Organizations should either create these accounts if they don’t exist or confirm that their existing accounts are up-to-date as soon as possible in order to avoid potential application submission problems.

  • SAM.gov: Applicants must have an active System for Awards Management (SAM) account. Each applicant is advised to first make sure its SAM.gov account is active and valid before beginning its preparation of the other application materials in Grants.gov or AMIS. The SAM.gov website is www.SAM.gov.
  • Grants.gov: All applicants are required to submit a Standard Form (SF)-424 electronically through Grants.gov before beginning their FY 2018 funding application for the CDFI Program or NACA Program. The SF-424 can be found in Grants.gov under the funding opportunity number for each program.
    • CDFI Program: CDFI-2018-FATA
    • NACA Program: CDFI-2018-NACA

    Applicants that do not submit an SF-424 electronically through Grants.gov by the stated deadline will not be eligible to submit application materials in AMIS.

    Please note: Grants.gov has recently changed the user interface of its website. Both new and repeat applicants should allow extra time to navigate the changes to Grants.gov.

  • AMIS: After submitting the SF-424 through Grants.gov, all applicants must use the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS) to create, complete, and submit the final application materials for the FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program application rounds. The FY 2018 application is currently live and available in AMIS. Please see the NOFAs for more information on submitting the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications.

New applicants are encouraged to begin the registration process for each of the systems now and will find registration guidance on each website. Applicants should allow ample time to complete the entire registration and submission process well in advance of the application deadline. The CDFI Fund provided an initial overview of the steps to register in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS on its Impact Blog earlier in January.

Please see the applicable NOFAs for more information on submitting the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications.

Deadlines

  • Applicants must both submit their SF-424 electronically via Grants.gov and create an AMIS account before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on March 2, 2018.
  • Complete CDFI Program and NACA Program applications must be submitted electronically through AMIS before 11:59 p.m. ET on April 4, 2018. The FY 2018 application is already available in AMIS as of January 31, 2018.
  • The CDFI Fund strongly encourages all materials to be submitted at least three days before each corresponding deadline for Grants.gov and AMIS.
  • The CDFI Fund will not respond to any applicant questions about the FY 2018 application round after 5:00 p.m. ET on April 2, 2018.

Please see the applicable NOFAs for more information on submitting the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications.

Learn About Applying to the CDFI and NACA Programs

The CDFI Fund is providing the following opportunities to learn more about the FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program funding round:

  1. In-Person Application Workshops: CDFI Fund staff will conduct five in-person FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program Application Workshops in Washington, DC. Registration for these workshops is now open. Due to security requirements at the federal facility where the workshops will be held, anyone wishing to attend the in-person application workshops must register through the online registration system links provided on the CDFI Fund’s website. Individuals who do not register before the applicable registration deadlines may not be admitted. View all information about the workshops, including registration information, on the Application Materials section of the CDFI Program and NACA Program webpages.
  2. Q&A Webinars: The CDFI Fund is conducting six targeted live webinars to provide a forum to answer applicant questions about the FY 2018 CDFI Program and NACA Program applications. Please view the Application Materials section of the CDFI Program and NACA Program webpages for the dates, times, and access information for each webinar. Advance registration is not required to participate in the webinars.

Additional Guidance Materials

In the coming weeks, the CDFI Fund will continue to update the Application Materials section of the CDFI Program and NACA Program webpages with additional guidance materials and presentations. Keep an eye on the CDFI Fund’s website for updates.

Questions

For more information on the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Q&A webinars, or the application workshops, please contact the CDFI Fund’s Help Desk by e-mailing cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov or by calling (202) 653-0421 (option 1).

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