FUND Community Institute is conducting a research project on community development strategies. We welcome all CDFIs to participate in our survey at the link provided. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and thanks in advance for your participation.
First Eagle Bank delivered a new dream bedroom to Harry, a 13-year-old Bartlett teen battling cancer. Harry was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2021 and has spent much time in and out of the hospital. The Hanover Park based bank partnered with Illinois based charity Special Spaces Chicagoland to create Harry's dream bedroom in a single day. "Children battling cancer spend endless hours in their room, it was an honor to be involved in sponsoring and creating a safe space for Harry during such a challenging time," said Gene Khalimsky, Vice President at First Eagle Bank. Khalimsky is well aware of the impact of childhood cancer as his daughter also spent years battling leukemia and received a room makeover from Special Spaces while in treatment in 2013 -- she is now a healthy 14-year-old. "First Eagle Bank is proud to contribute to the community and give back to such a great cause," he said. First Eagle Bank, which has always taken an active role in the local community, is very proud of its outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating and Community Development Financial Institution certification. It is committed to providing credit, capital, and financial services to underserved communities and its staff is personally committed and involved with nonprofits such as Special Spaces Chicagoland to assist people in any way possible. First Eagle Bank is looking to make a difference in people's lives -- its customers, its community and each other.
Six Black banks — including four of the nation's largest — have joined a new digital platform by Citi. The action could help the banks increase lending to African American entrepreneurs. According to a news release, the banks are part of a consortium linking with Bridge built by Citi, a bank-led, digital meeting place that connects businesses seeking loans up to $10 million. The "first-of-its-kind platform is aimed to expand access to capital and financial services to Black small business owners. The platform launched by Citi matches local and regional banks with local small businesses needing funding for improvements and expansion amid the post-COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will initially consist of 18 banks that Citi will send business leads to. Banks on the program include Mechanics & Farmers Bank in Durham, North Carolina; Optus Bank in Columbia, South Carolina; and Carver State Bank in Savannah, Georgia
Black folks are turning to cryptocurrencies as a new path to wealth at a higher percentage than the general population, according to USA Today. An estimated 23 percent of Black Americans own cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, compared to 13 percent of the general population, the newspaper reported, based on surveys by Harris Poll. Black people are not alone. The survey found that marginalized groups disproportionately own crypto. About 25 percent of the LGBTQ community and 17 percent of Hispanics are in the crypto market, compared to 11 percent of white Americans. What many in those groups have in common is a belief that the banking and loans industry mistreats them. In the survey, 43 percent of Black people had that sentiment, compared with 28 percent of the general American population.
Residents and businesses in Choctaw County will soon have a new choice for their money matters. On Monday, August 16, the Bank of Kilmichael held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its future home in Ackerman. The bank will be a 2,400 square-foot building which will include two oversized drive-up lanes and an ATM. The bank of Kilmichael is a full-service facility specializing in loans, along with business and personal accounts. Ackerman Mayor Dale Reid said the new bank will offer a lot for local residents. "To have the Bank of Kilmichael come to Ackerman and build a building to service the people not only in Ackerman but also Choctaw County means the world to us," Reid said. "We are a small town - there hasn't been a lot of new construction going on in recent years."
There was a time not long ago that community development financial institutions and minority-owned banks struggled to find the capital needed to increase financial inclusion, catalyze growth and reduce inequality in low- to moderate-income communities across the United States. Today, though, the sector has the opportunity to scale up by increasing total assets by a factor of 10 — and commensurately increase the impact in LMI markets. Everything changed last year when the Black Lives Matter movement helped local and national leaders recognize the sector as an important agent of change in these communities. Both the public sector (via the Emergency Capital Injection Program and CDFI Fund) and the private sector are investing new capital and committing other support to these institutions — in billions, rather than millions, of dollars. The industry is now at a pivotal and transformative moment in its history. It has the potential to reimagine and scale up the impact in LMI communities that form the foundation of their work and help solve social and economic justice issues that our society faces. This piece outlines a strategy for the sector to achieve scale
23 partner organizations, including CDBA and CDBA member Virginia Community Capital, have lauched the Virginia CDFI Coalition. Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly passed a $10 million budget amendment that effectively created and funded the Virginia CDFI Fund, which is to be administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The purpose of this fund is to support Virginia-based CDFIs and build their capacity to support communities and businesses across the state. In response to this opportunity, a majority of Virginia-based CDFIs has agreed to organize, form a coalition, and establish a collective voice for the community development and investment community.
The Board's Division of Consumer and Community Affairs (DCCA) is seeking to fill three positions that will each play a senior role in the development and implementation of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) policy. Depending on the selected candidate's experience and qualifications, the Board will select candidates from the following job titles and grade levels: Supervisory Policy Analyst (FR 26); Sr. Supervisory Policy Analyst (FR 27); and Lead Supervisory Policy Analyst (FR 28). The positions work under the general supervision of the CRA Manager, exercising leadership and initiative in policy development and implementation, including efforts around CRA modernization, as part of the CRA Policy section in DCCA.
Owning a home has long been one of the most effective ways to build wealth. But for many lower-income renters – especially for Black families and other people of color – the leap from renting to owning can seem nearly impossible. For many, one of the biggest obstacles to qualifying for a mortgage is insufficient credit history. Today, Fannie Mae is taking an important step forward to change that. We are making a groundbreaking update to our automated mortgage underwriting system, Desktop Underwriter®, to allow lenders to consider a history of recurring rent payments in assessing eligibility. It seems obvious that if someone is paying rent consistently it's likely they could and would pay their mortgage consistently, too. Yet we believe this will be the first time any large-scale automated mortgage underwriting system will leverage electronic bank statement data to consider positive rent payment history.
The expanded child tax credit, signed into law by President Biden in March, is an unexpected windfall to many families. For banks, it represents both a short-run test and a longer-term opportunity. The test is that many unbanked households are having trouble accessing their funds in a timely manner, and the Biden administration is asking banks to be part of the solution. On the flip side, parents who do have bank accounts are likely to want advice on what to do with the sudden influx of cash, offering banks a unique customer engagement opportunity. "I think that there's a substantial opportunity for banks and for others to communicate with consumers about this basically free money in their accounts," said Peter Tufano, a finance professor at the University of Oxford's Said Business School who has been surveying U.S. families about the child tax credit.