What is a CDFI?

PLFC is a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

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The CDFI Fund was created by the United States Department of the Treasury for the purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). In November 2011, Pima Leasing & Financing Corporation became a Certified CDFI.

Through its various programs, the CDFI status enables PLFC to further Gila River Indian Community goals such as economic development and community development financial services.

Tenth Annual Native CDFI Awards from Opportunity Finance Network on Vimeo.

As a CDFI, PLFC has the opportunity to apply and participate in the following programs:

  • Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) Program – The Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) awards competitive grants to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and other organizations to develop affordable housing and other projects which is administered through the federal CDFI Fund. Capital Magnet Fund grants can be used for a wide variety of affordable housing and economic development projects, including the development, preservation, rehabilitation, and purchase of housing for low-income families. The grants may also be used for economic development activities that stabilize low-income areas or underserved rural areas, including day care centers, workforce development centers, and health care centers. Additionally, grants may be used to provide loan loss reserves, to capitalize a revolving loan or to capitalize an affordable housing fund.

Financial Education and Counseling (FEC) Pilot Program Through the FEC Pilot Program, the CDFI Fund shall provide grants to enable eligible organizations to provide a range of financial education and counseling services to prospective homebuyers, with the goals of increasing the financial knowledge and decision-making capabilities of prospective homebuyers;

    • assisting prospective homebuyers to develop monthly budgets, build personal savings, finance or plan for major purchases, reduce their debt, improve their financial stability, and set and reach their financial goals;
    • helping prospective homebuyers to improve their credit scores by understanding the relationship between their credit histories and their credit scores; and
    • educating prospective homebuyers about the options available to build savings for short- and long-term goals.
  • New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program – The NMTC Program attracts private capital into low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial intermediaries calledCommunity Development Entities (CDEs). The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years.
  • Bond Guarantee Program – Enacted through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program responds to a critical market need—long-term, low-cost capital that can be used to spur economic growth and jump start community revitalization. Through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, Qualified Issuers (CDFIs or their designees) apply to the CDFI Fund for authorization to issue bonds worth a minimum of $100 million in total. The bonds provide CDFIs with access to substantial capital that is then used to reignite the economies of some of our nation’s most distressed communities.

Unlike other CDFI Fund programs, the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program does not offer grants, but is instead a federal credit subsidy program, designed to function at no cost to taxpayers. The bond proceeds are debt instruments that must be repaid.

  • Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program – Annually, the NACA Program provides Financial Assistance (FA) and Technical Assistance (TA) awards to Native CDFIs. FA awards are made to support the financing activities of certified Native CDFIs. NACA Program FA awards were made in the form of the eligible non-Federal matching funds provided by the awardee.
  • Technical Assistance (TA) Grants – TA grants may be used for a wide range of purposes. For example, awardees can use TA funds to purchase equipment; for consulting or contracting services; to pay the salaries and benefits of certain personnel; and/or to train staff or board members. The CDFI Fund makes awards of up to $125,000 under the TA component of the CDFI Program.
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program – The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.