Holy Rosary Credit Union received official notification that it has been certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Credit Union Strategic Planning based in Tacoma, Washington, worked with Holy Rosary to obtain the designation.
The CDFI designation, which certifies the community-based lenders as providers of critical services to low- and moderate-income communities and other target markets, allows certified institutions to apply for grant funding from the CDFI Fund and other sources to expand services and increase impact. Established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994, as a bipartisan initiative, the CDFI Fund provides certified CDFIs with monetary awards and the allocation of tax credits to promote access to capital and spur local economic growth in urban, rural and reservation-based low-income communities nationwide.
"We are very excited about this certification because it will help to provide many new opportunities for service to our members," says Carole Wight, Holy Rosary president. "About 82 percent of our people are very low income. The certification process was very hard work, but well worth the effort. CU Strategic Planning was a crucial piece to getting the formal approval. I think we would still be working on the certification, if it wasn’t for them. We are grateful for their assistance."
The CDFI Fund has provided almost $1.3 billion to CDFIs nationally, including $120 million to CDFI-certified credit unions since 1996. With the help of Credit Union Strategic Planning, Holy Rosary submitted and received a Technical Assistance grant last year as an emerging CDFI for $93,000. This year Holy Rosary submitted a $600,000 request and as certified CDFI and hopes to hear back by this summer.