Registration is open for the CDFI Fund's Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas Capacity Building Initiative workshops. This series of two-day workshops will provide specialized training and technical assistance to certified and emerging CDFIs seeking to expand their reach into underserved communities. Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will partner with subject matter experts including CDBA to provide three workshops relevant to all types of CDFIs. The first session, Forming New and Affiliated CDFI Entities, was held in Baltimore, Md. last month. The second session, Understanding the Benefits of CDFI Status for Newly-Certified and Prospective CDFIs, will be July 22-23, 2015 in Denver, Colo. The third session, Expansion by Existing CDFIs, will be held August 19-20, 2015, Kansas City, Mo.
Thanks to the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP program) offered at Ridgeland, Mississippi-based BankPlus, retired chef Allen Crawford will finally have working hot water and a remodeled kitchen in his home. Crawford had been living without hot water for years after his water heater and stove broke. His kitchen floor was caved-in and there were holes in his walls. After applying for the SNAP Program, which provides grants to assist income-qualified, special-needs homeowners with home repairs, Crawford received $5,806 for repairs from BankPlus and FHLB Dallas. "Over the years, we have worked together to help literally hundreds of families with needed home repairs and modifications," said Mark Ouellette, first vice president and director of Affordable Housing at BankPlus.
Southern Bancorp’s 2014 annual report shows continued financial success for the bank and growing social impact. Since acquiring several institutions in 2009, Southern has significantly increased investment in their communities. The bank has tripled capital investment levels in Blytheville, Ark. since acquiring First National Bank and increased lending significantly in Trumann and El Dorado. The bank also made new acquisitions in 2014 that expanded its coverage into Eudora, Arkansas and Mound Bayou, Mississippi, high-poverty areas with few banking options. “We have yet again reached record profitability, and more importantly, we have created audacious goals for ourselves over the next decade, centered on affordable housing, job creation, and savings,” said CEO Darrin Williams.