LIIF Praises Congress and President for Increasing Support to Low Income Communities in Spending Bill

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The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) applauds Congress and President Barak Obama for providing increased funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in the 2009 fiscal year federal budget. Funding for the CDFI Fund grew to $107 million from last year’s $94 million allocation. This portion of the omnibus spending bill is a significant step towards helping families in low income communities access affordable credit.

In the current economic environment, CDFIs are filling a void created by banks and other financial institutions that have pulled back from lending activities to America’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. LIIF’s work to alleviate poverty has invested over $740 million in the poorest neighborhoods in California and New York City since its founding in 1984.

“The increased allocation to the CDFI Fund in the 2009 budget recognizes the important role that CDFIs are playing in bringing capital to low income communities during this recession. LIIF commends Congress for passing this budget and specifically acknowledges New York Congressman Jose Serrano’s leadership on the Appropriations Committee to support the work of CDFIs,” said LIIF President and CEO, Nancy O. Andrews. “Looking ahead, the demand for LIIF’s and other CDFIs’ services will only increase as the economic pressures on families mount. That’s why we also support President Obama’s proposed doubling of funding for the CDFI Fund for the 2010 budget. We hope that the final figure for next year is closer to $250 million because the need is there.”

The CDFI Fund is a program of the U.S. Treasury and has awarded more than $860 million to community development organizations and financial institutions to promote economic advancement in underserved communities.