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U.S. Treasury Awards Majority of $195 Million in Grants to Native Enterprises

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The U.S. Treasury announced $195 million in grants to dozens of tribal and other organizations to promote affordable housing as well as investment in low-income and economically distressed community.

The lion’s share of recipients were Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities, the U.S. Treasury Department said, receiving funds under the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). In total 185 organizations received more than $195.4 million through fiscal year 2014. They included grants from the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), awards designed to enable Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Native CDFIs across the U.S. to boost lending and investments in those low-income and economically distressed communities, the department said.

The First Nations Oweesta Corporation, of Longmont, Colorado, with a NACA Program grant of $750,000 and a CDFI Program grant of $500,000 got the biggest with a total of $1.25 million. Following closely behind, with grants of $750,000 each, were the Cherokee Nation Economic Development Trust Authority, Inc., of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Hopi Credit Association, Keams Canyon, Arizona; Wind River Development Fund, Fort Washakie, Wyoming; Cook Inlet Lending Center Inc., Anchorage, Alaska; Four Bands Community Fund Inc. of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and the Salt River Financial Services Institution of Scottsdale, Arizona.

“CDFIs and Native CDFIs are important community partners providing critically needed financing that not only allows families to buy their first home, or entrepreneurs to start or expand a business, but that generates economic growth and revitalizes America’s low-income and economically-distressed communities,” said Jessica Milano, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Small Business, Community Development, and Housing Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in a statement on August 27. “The awards we announce today will help these CDFIs and Native CDFIs build their capacity in order to better meet the investment and lending needs of the communities they serve.”

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Grants were awarded for affordable housing, small business, consumer finance, microenterprise and commercial/intermediary, the Treasury department said in a release. Technical assistance awards were also given out for line items such as personnel, professional services, travel and training. Equipment and other capital expenses also netted awards.

Additional information about the FY 2014 rounds of the CDFI Program and NACA Program, including the full award list and key highlights, can be found through the Award Book links below and on the CDFI Fund’s website