UPDATED: CDFI certification application under revision; clarifications provided

The application used to seek certification as a community development financial institution eligible for federal grants and technical assistance is slated for revision, and comments are being accepted until Nov. 5.

Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund is considering four administrative changes to its CDFI certification application that are “designed to provide clarification and consistency to better understand the work of the CDFI Certification Applicant,” according to a notice in the Federal Register.

Update: The F.R. notice doesn’t detail what those changes are, but the CDFI Fund issued a release Wednesday providing more information. First, it noted that the “Application currently available for comment does not include any changes regarding CDFI Certification application criteria that may result from the request for information (RFI) the CDFI Fund published in 2017”; it said comments received from that RFI are still under review. Second, the fund added that the application available for comment now is similar to the one already in use; a copy of this application is linked in Wednesday’s release along with an attachment to the application (Attachment A). Changes are presented on p.2 of the application document out for comment. Briefly, the fund is proposing to add two questions addressing major non-financing assets and development services; and to remove two questions due to rule changes made in 2015.

Again, the CDFI Fund invites comments “on all aspects of the information collection.” However, it also notes that commenters “may wish to focus particular attention” on the following:

(a) the cost for CDFIs to operate and maintain the services/systems required to provide the required information;

(b) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

(c) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper evaluation of the effectiveness and impact of the CDFI Fund’s programs, including whether the information has practical utility;

(d) the accuracy of the CDFI Fund’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information; and

(e) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information including through the use of technology.

The fund estimates a total of 300 respondents and an estimated annual total burden hours per respondent of 37.5 hours.

CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions such as loan and venture capital funds. CDFI certification, conferred by the CDFI Fund, is a requirement for accessing financial and technical assistance awards from the CDFI Fund through the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program, as well as certain benefits under the Bank Enterprise Award Program, to support an organization’s established community development financing programs.

Notice of Information Collection and Request for Public Comment

CDFI Certification Application (for Public Comment)

CDFI Certification Application Attachment A (for Public Comment)

CDFI Fund Sept. 5 release