Credit union regulator funded $1.6 million in ’21 technical grants – but only filled one-third of financing requests

More than 100 technical assistance grants, totaling $1.6 million, were awarded by the federal credit union regulator to small institutions in 2021 – but that covered only about one-third of the requests for assistance it received, the agency said Thursday.

According to the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) 2021 annual report to Congress on its Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF), the agency received 283 grant applications totaling $4.7 million in 2021. However, NCUA was able to provide technical assistance grant awards for only about $3.40 for every $10 requested. Grants were awarded to fewer than four in 10 applicants, the agency added.

To do that, NCUA said, it combined the 2021 congressional appropriation of $1.5 million with “a modest amount of recoveries from past-year appropriations,” ultimately awarding 109 technical assistance grants totaling $1.6 million.

In a statement, NCUA Board Chairman Todd Harper said the shortfall between grant requests received and grants awarded compelled him to “strongly encourage Congress to increase the CDRLF appropriation for FY 2023 to $4 million.”

“With additional resources, the NCUA could provide broader and deeper support for credit unions’ efforts to modernize services, build capacity, and expand their reach to underserved people and communities,” Harper said. “We would offer more grants, larger grants, and find more ways to assist these credit unions in fulfilling their missions.”

Community Development Revolving Loan Fund Congressional Report