WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) today announced $24,671,056 to help six Maryland-based community financial institutions spur economic growth and create job opportunities. The awards, allocated through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Equitable Recovery Program (CDFI ERP), will help underserved communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic gain access to credit and capital. The lawmakers fought to increase emergency funding for CDFIs throughout the pandemic, including by creating the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program through the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
“This funding will spur new investments in our state’s underserved areas – especially communities that suffered the worst of the economic harm from the COVID-19 pandemic. These financial institutions will help launch accessible financing to create new business opportunities and support our communities’ growth and prosperity. We fought to secure these funds to bolster the power of community lenders like these as they invest in improving our neighborhoods and driving our economy forward,” said the lawmakers.
The six Maryland-headquartered Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) receiving funds are:
- Harbor Bankshares Corporation in Baltimore City – $6,197,097
- Baltimore Community Lending, Inc. in Baltimore City – $4,957,678
- Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, Inc. in Baltimore City – $4,957,678
- Charter Schools Development Corporation in Hanover – $3,718,258
- Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore, Incorporated dba MECU in Baltimore City – $3,718,258
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore, Inc. in Baltimore City – $1,122,087
Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc in Columbia also received $3,718,258 from the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program. These funds will be used to support similar initiatives throughout the region.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are community-based banks, credit unions, loan funds, and venture capital providers that expand access to financial services in low-income or underserved communities. CDFIs use their financial resources to foster economic opportunity in neighborhoods that have historically lacked investment. CDFIs are supported through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund, which has awarded more than $7.4 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions since its creation in 1994.
The one-time CDFI Equitable Recovery Program (CDFI ERP) awarded $1.75 billion in funding to help CDFIs expand lending, grant making, and investment activity in low- or moderate-income communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2022, members of the Maryland delegation announced $86 million in federal funding for Maryland-based community financial institutions to help low-income and minority borrowers.