Demand-Side CDFI Advocacy

With a swirl of budget maneuvers spinning Congress into a fiscal hurricane, the CDFI industry needs to make sure its core priorities are safe from the storm. For years, CDFI advocacy has relied on key congressional leaders on critical appropriations panels, supported by a steady wave of congressional office visits.

In the current policy turmoil, no one is certain what will become of The CDFI Fund, despite longstanding bipartisan backing.

The CDFI case got a welcome boost yesterday from the Credit Builders Alliance in The Hill, which is widely read by Capitol Hill staffers. CBA, a consortium of nonprofits helping consumers, refuted the Trump Administrations budget assertion that CDFIs are no longer needed.

“The results wholeheartedly disprove the contention that CDFIs are passé and that they are no longer needed,” CBA Executive Director Dara Dugay wrote. CBA based its conclusion on data collected by its CDFI Member organizations.

Key takeaways:

  • 40% of respondents said they could not get a loan from other financial institutions
  • 20% said that their CDFI was the only affordable lender in their market
  • 57% reported that their credit scores increased because they worked with a CDFI.

“If Congress is truly committed to helping those who are struggling economically and suffering psychologically, they will not allow cuts to [The CDFI Fund,” Dugay urged.

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