The Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (RVCDF) is proud to announce that it has attained Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification from the US Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI Fund).
The CDFI Fund was created for the purpose of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to mission-driven community development financial institutions (CDFIs).
The CDFI Certification is a designation given by the CDFI Fund to specialized organizations that provide financial services in low-income communities for people and businesses that lack access to financing.
“Providing access to affordable financial products and services in underserved communities is a vital part of the CDFI Fund’s mission,” says the CDFI Fund. “By building the capacity of a nation-wide network of specialized financial institutions serving economically distressed communities, low-income people are empowered to enter the financial mainstream.”
CDFIs include regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, and non-regulated institutions like loan and venture capital funds. By building the capacity of a nationwide network of CDFIs, the CDFI Fund works to empower low-income and underserved people and communities.
“Rainier Valley Community Development Fund was formed 2003 with a mission similar to other community loan funds across the nation,” said Executive Director Wayne Lau. “The CDFI certification had always been a goal of this organization and envisioned by the founding directors. As a CDFI, we plan to expand our loan program to areas outside the Rainier Valley where we have successfully invested $58 million since 2006.”
To be eligible for CDFI Certification, an organization must meet the following criteria:
- Have a primary mission of promoting community development
- Provide both financial and educational services
- Serve and maintain accountability to one or more defined target markets
- Maintain accountability to a defined market
- Be a legal, non-governmental entity at the time of application (with the exception of Tribal governmental entities)
CDFI Certification is the first step to utilizing many of the CDFI Fund’s programs. Certified CDFIs are eligible to apply for awards through a variety of programs offered by the CDFI Fund. These awards enable CDFIs to finance a wide range of activities—including commercial lending to small business owners in under-served areas, flexible underwriting for community facilities, and affordable housing. Through varying strategies, each CDFI contributes to the cultivation of a healthy and stable local economy.
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded $1.7 billion to community development organizations and financial institutions through the CDFI Program.
View more information about the CDFI Fund at https://www.cdfifund.gov/Documents/CDFI_infographic_v08A.pdf