The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund awarded grants totaling $1.73 billion to 603 CDFIs across the country through the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program this week. The applications submitted by CU Strategic Planning resulted in $139.34 million in awards for its credit union clients.
“We are ecstatic to see 93% of the credit unions we assisted in applying for ERP funds receive this funding, which will provide the opportunity to improve the lives of even more people in need,” CU Strategic Planning CEO Stacy Augustine said. “With the more than $139 million in awards they received through the ERP, over the last 15 years we’ve assisted credit unions in earning $945 million – nearly $1 billion! – to serve historically underserved areas.”
The ERP funds were specified by the CDFI Fund to strengthen the ability of CDFIs to help low- and moderate-income communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in long-term prosperity. A complete list of all award winners, including 203 credit unions, is available at the CDFI Fund website.
“Knowing the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program from the U.S. Treasury believes and supports Calhoun Liberty Credit Union's mission in supporting economically challenged rural communities is priceless,” CEO Thomas Flowers said. “This funding will only strengthen our efforts to help bring financial services to rural underbanked individuals. Calhoun Liberty Credit Union does its best every day to improve the financial lives of everyone we interact with each day. This funding will be life changing in so many ways.”
The CDFI Fund states that the ERP was designed to: “1) provide funding to CDFIs to expand lending, grant making and investment activities in low- or moderate-income communities and to borrowers that have significant unmet capital and financial services needs and have experienced disproportionate economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) enable CDFIs to build organizational capacity and acquire technology, staff, and other tools necessary to accomplish the activities under a CDFI ERP Award.” Awards granted across all recipients ranged from $500,000 to $6.2 million.
“This is the largest single grant program we’ve ever worked on, and I’m so proud of our credit unions and our team for the hard work it took to get to this point,” CU Strategic Planning Chief Experience Officer Mike Beall said. “Now the real, life-changing work begins. I can’t wait to see what’s next for our credit unions!”
CDFI credit unions and other CDFIs must deploy the ERP funds in designated eligible areas, which are census tracts that demonstrate severe impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, have a median income at or below 120% of the area median income, and are CDFI investment areas, or Native areas.