The CDFI Fund announced $18.6 million in 2016 Bank Enterprise Award grants to mission-focused banks for their service in high poverty communities. This Fund – which yields an enormously high impact with a near-negligible proportion of the federal budget – is under threat in the immediate years to come.
The CDFI Fund has announced $18.6 million in 2016 Bank Enterprise Award grants to mission-focused banks for their service in distressed communities. With limited resources, the BEA program provided grants to a record-breaking 102 banks and thrifts headquartered in 22 states and the District of Columbia. The highest proportions went to rural Mississippi and Louisiana. 92% of the money was awarded to 86 CDFI-certified banks.
This article by Next City analyzes the positive impact made by the 102 banks, including 50 CDBA members, who received BEA Awards in August. As a group, the banks provided $550.8 million in loans to 3,181 businesses and $37 million in loans to 2,193 residents in target communities in 2015.
In just two years, BankPlus has firmly established itself in Tupelo, where it has opened two offices, broken ground on a third location, cleared a lot for a fourth location and bought land for a downtown office. Up until 2015, BankPlus had little exposure in Northeast Mississippi. “Tupelo is well-known throughout the state for having strong community leadership in government and with the Community Development Foundation, and for working together to attract business and industry,” said Bill Ray, the president and CEO of BankPlus. “It’s a really good economic environment. It’s a hub for retail and medical, and we saw it as an opportunity for future growth.”
Virginia Community Capital has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to finance the renovation of the historic Hayden High School into a senior residential and community center. Construction has been on hold for two years due to multiple setbacks, but is now slated to resume promptly and to be completed by July 2018. The building, named after the daughter of a freed slave, is on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
This article discusses a newly-developed graph that shows compellingly that income gains in recent decades have gone overwhelmingly to the ultrarich, not the middle class. The graph, produced by Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez and his frequent collaborators Thomas Piketty (EHESS) and Gabriel Zucman (Berkeley), used a mix of tax and survey data to give a portrait of how incomes have grown for each segment of the population from 1913 to the present.
The number of black-owned banks operating in the U.S. has been dropping steadily for the past 15 years and fell to 23 this year, the lowest level in recent history, according to the FDIC. The trend is worrisome to some analysts who argue fewer banks serving low-income, minority groups could expand “financial deserts”—communities with few or no banking institutions—and increase the likelihood that black and Hispanic communities could become susceptible to redlining. The article features a quote from Doyle Mitchell of Industrial Bank.
On Thursday, August 3rd, Elvans Road Townhomes was launched as a part of the Single Family Investment Pilot, the first project of the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Investment Project. DCHFA is partnering with H2DesignBuild and City First Bank to construct five new townhomes in DC’s Barry Farm neighborhood. “CDHFA’s Housing Investment Platform is the type of innovate approach that is needed to create more affordable housing throughout DC,” said DC mayor Muriel Bowser. “The investment in Elvans Road Townhomes will put homeownership in reach for more Washingtonians, create new job opportunities, and put more residents on pathways to the middle class.”
The Trump Administration's support for a reduction in the corporate tax break from 35% to 15% may be a blessing for the banking industry at large, but could do a good deal of harm to commercial banks that invest in the affordable housing market. This piece from the American Banker analyzes the potential impact of the new corporate tax rate on the viability of the LIHTC model.
Mission Valley Bank was one of 3 California banks to recently present donation checks to the future Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, a 2.5-acre newly-developed site that will feature a banquet hall, fireplace lounge and library, six multipurpose rooms, fitness center, dance studio, and outdoor cabana. It is scheduled to open during the summer of 2018, but is still short roughly $1.75 million of its goal. “As a community bank, we believe it is our mission to reach out to organizations like the SCV Senior Center,” said Tamara Gurney, President and CEO of Mission Valley Bank.