Healthy Food Financing Initiative Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program – FY 2016
The origin of the Native Initiatives can be traced back to 1994 when Congress mandated, through the CDFI Fund's authorizing statute, a study on the lending and investment practices in Native Communities. The findings revealed that Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian communities face unique challenges to economic growth. These obstacles include heightened barriers to accessing capital and basic financial services, as well as increased difficultly interacting with private and public sector programs.
With this in mind, the CDFI Fund created the Native Initiatives to further support the creation and expansion of Native CDFIs. Native CDFIs help Native Communities thrive and grow by increasing their access to credit, capital, and financial services. The Native Initiatives program uses a combination of financial, technical assistance, and training to build the capacity of CDFIs serving Native Communities.
Through the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), Financial Assistance awards are made to Native CDFIs. These competitive awards are made in the form of loans, grants, equity investments, deposits, and credit union shares. By multiplying the impact of federal investment, Native CDFIs are able to pursue a variety of goals, from small business creation to affordable housing development, as well as other community development pursuits. Healthy Food Financing Initiative - Financial Assistance awards are also offered for CDFIs that are interested in expanding their healthy food financing activities.
The NACA Program also provides Technical Assistance grants, offered to Native CDFIs, Certifiable Native CDFIs, and Sponsoring Entities (see eligibility below). Recipients may use Technical Assistance awards to increase their capacity to serve their communities and/or to create, or become Certified CDFIs.
Through NACA Program, the CDFI Fund provides (i) FA awards of up to $1 million to Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to build their financial capacity to lend to their Target Markets, and (ii) TA grants of up to $150,000 to build Certified, Certifiable, and Emerging CDFIs’ organizational capacity to serve their Target Markets.
By building the capacities of Native CDFIs, these mission-driven organizations can more effectively help create jobs, housing, and community facilities for Native Communities in need. For more detailed information, please refer to the Notice of Funds Availability found on the CDFI Fund's website.