CUNA wrote to the House Budget Committee Tuesday on appropriate funding levels for priorities important to credit unions and the communities they serve. President Joe Biden released his budget proposal Monday with several of those priorities addressed.
CUNA recommends an appropriation for $330 million for the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, similar to the amount requested by the administration. The fund was set at $295 million for FY22.
The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to CDFIs. Credit unions are 471 of the 1,395 certified CDFIs as of March 14, the largest single financial institution category.
“The CDFI Fund uses small amounts of federal dollars to leverage significant amounts of private and non-federal dollars and has added a tremendous boost to the CDFI industry,” CUNA’s letter reads.
CUNA supports the administration’s request for $6 million for NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), an increase from FY22’s $1.545 million. The CDRLF funds a revolving loan program and a technical assistance program.
“Every dollar appropriated by Congress to the CDRLF is passed on directly to underserved communities and the credit unions that serve them,” CUNA notes.
CUNA also requested $20 million for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Cooperative Development Program (CDP), which was not included in the administration’s proposal. It was funded at $18.5 million for FY22.
The CDP is a global initiative that focuses on building capacity of cooperative businesses and cooperative systems for self-reliance, local ownership, and sustainability.
“With U.S. government and private U.S. foundation support, World Council of Credit Unions is working to promote economic freedom and growth, increase financial inclusion, expand rapidly financial access using mobile technology, help farmers and artisans obtain better prices for their goods, and fill the agricultural lending gap to improve food security,” the letter reads. “A main source of funding for WOCCU has been the Cooperative Development Program.”