Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) advances public policies to help CDFIs better serve low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities. Our advocacy is based on the experiences and expertise of our Members. For that reason, the participation of CDFI leaders in OFN’s policy development and advocacy work is critical.
In 2013, OFN will actively engage its Members as well as other CDFI supporters in advancing the following policy priorities:
- Fiscal Year 2013 and 2014 CDFI Fund appropriations of at least $221 million.
- Implementation of the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, utilizing $1 billion in FY13, and restoring $3 billion in lost budget authority.
- Extension or permanent reauthorization of the New Markets Tax Credit with reforms to allow greater CDFI participation.
- A dedicated funding stream to support CDFIs engaged in mortgage finance through reforms to the national housing finance system. Such a revenue source would fund the CDFI Fund’s Capital Magnet Program or a successor program.
CDFI Participation & Access
- Increasing CDFI participation in the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
- Greater CDFI participation in existing federal programs targeting CDFIs including the Small Business Administration’s Community Advantage pilot program to allow non-regulated CDFIs access to the 7(a) program, and Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative.
- New and expanded CDFI access to other federal programs including those at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture and the Small Business Administration.
CDFI Operating Environment
- Monitoring implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, including actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that impact CDFI strategies, functions, and operations.
- Promoting changes to Community Reinvestment Act regulations to increase investments in low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged markets and the CDFIs that serve them.
- Establishing tax advantaged treatment for investments in opportunity markets.
- Making it an affirmative obligation for US corporations to invest in low income, low wealth communities in exchange for the benefits they derive from Federal laws, tax policies, direct benefits, and other means.
- Offering policy makers at the state level, data and information about successful CDFI policy initiatives and referrals to high performing CDFIs operating in their markets.