The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today opened the fiscal year (FY) 2018 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 publication of the FY 2018 Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register on July 23, 2018. The FY 2018 NOFA makes up to $25 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 the most economically 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 Housing Loans, Affordable Housing Development Loans and Project Investments, Commercial Real Estate Development Loans and Project Investments, Education Loans, Home Improvement Loans, Small Business Loans and Project Investments, or Small Dollar Consumer Loans 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; as well as opening new branches or ATM machines in distressed communities.
Full definitions of the Qualified Activities may be found in the BEA Program Regulations which are posted on the CDFI Fund’s website.
There are limited changes to the FY 2018 BEA Program from the prior funding year. The changes include:
- A maximum total dollar value of $500,000 for Home Improvement Loans transactions
- The release of updated BEA Eligibility Data, based on the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, to determine a BEA qualified distressed community.
- Scenario II of the Integral Involvement Form was expanded to include Development Services Activities for CDFI Partners.
- The CDFI Fund’s appropriation legislation in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law Number 115-141, enacted March 23, 2018), requires that at least 10 percent of BEA Program Awards be used for projects that serve populations living in Persistent Poverty Counties (PPC).
Please reference the FY 2018 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. Eastern Time (ET) on August 23, 2018.
- Part II of the application must be submitted through the CDFI Fund’s Award Management Information System, or AMIS, by 5:00 p.m. ET on September 20, 2018.
In addition to being available through Grants.gov, the FY 2018 NOFA and a paper version of the application instructions are available on the CDFI Fund’s website, www.cdfifund.gov/bea. The electronic application will be released in AMIS in approximately two to three weeks.
The CDFI Fund will be conducting two webinars to discuss the FY 2018 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.
The CDFI Fund will also provide a recording of the FY 2018 BEA Program AMIS Application demonstration which will be available on the CDFI Fund’s website.
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 2018 round after 5:00 p.m. ET on September 18, 2018.