News Column

Congressman Serrano Announces $700,000 for Bronx Community Development Financial Institution

September 2, 2014



WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 -- Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-N.Y. (15th CD), issued the following news release:

Today, US Congressman Jose E. Serrano (D-NY) announced that Spring Bank has been awarded $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Treasury'sCommunity Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). Awarded through the fiscal year (FY) 2014 round of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), the funds will enable Spring Bank to expand its lending and other services to individuals and small businesses in the Bronx.

"Community Development Financial Institutions like Spring Bank are crucial in places like the Bronx, where individuals, small businesses, and other organizations need more access to affordable and trustworthy financial institutions that care about their financial wellbeing. Far too often, big banks and financial institutions do not offer their services and lend money in Bronx communities. Or they do so in ways that aren't consumer friendly," said Congressman Serrano.

"Community Development Financial Institutions fill this void in underserved communities. They are truly life changing for folks and organizations that otherwise wouldn't have access to the credit, financing, and counsel they need. Their investments in the Bronx and throughout the nation has made it possible for many to buy their first home or start their business, and helped finance the creation of important community housing and health care facilities. This is why, as a member of the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, I have always made it a priority to ensure the CDFI Fund and community development financial institutions have the resources they need to continue serving the community," he added.

"We've worked for over a year with people from across the Bronx and the city to get the details of this program just right. And it's largely because of the valuable input from our neighbors, our advisory board and the Bronx community that we were able to craft a product that we can all be proud of. The grant from the CDFI fund is valuable and helpful from a financial perspective, but it's more than that. It represents a real truth: This grant is proof that the Bronx is home to leadership and innovation in the field of financial services. Great things are coming out of the Bronx," said Brian Blake, Vice President, Spring Bank.

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) (http://cdfifund.gov/index.asp) is a federally funded initiative within the Department of Treasury that was created in 1994 to increase investment and economic development in underserved communities. It supports community development financial institution, community development organizations, and other financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, the New Markets Tax Credit Program, the Healthy Foods Financing Program, and the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) (http://cdfifund.gov/what_we_do/programs_id.asp?programID=7), through which the funding announced today was awarded, invests in and builds the capacity of CDFI's by providing them with financial and technical assistance awards, so that they can expand their services and build their technical capacity. In addition, the program is a resource that organizations and projects can use to attract additional private investment from other sources. Statistics show that for every dollar of federal funding received from the CDFI program, awardees are able to leverage $13 in additional funding. To date, the program has awarded $1.4 billion in assistance since its inception in 1994. The program has had a significant impact in the Bronx, where CDFI awardees have provided more than 700 loans, worth more than $167 million dollars, to businesses, consumers, and non-profits in the 15th Congressional District.

Congressman Serrano currently serves as Ranking Member of the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). As both Chairman and Ranking Member, he has more than quadrupled funding for CDFIs.

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