Among the items buried in the White House's proposed spending plan for fiscal 2004, released last week, is another $1 million addition to NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan Fund. It would be the eighth year in a row $1 million has been added to the fund, during which the fund has more than doubled to $14 million.
The popularity of the program among both Democratic and Republican administrations speaks loads about the resiliency of the program, which provides both low-interest loans and small technical assistance grants to hundreds of qualified low-income credit unions.
On the other hand, the Bush administration proposed slashing funding for the Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Program, so popular with CUs. The Administration, never a fan of the Clinton initiative, has proposed cutting the CDFI budget by 25% next year to $51 million, which would be the fourth annual budget cut in a row.
Credit unions have been among the biggest recipients of CDFI funding since its inception nine years ago, with more than 50 credit unions receiving in excess of $30 million in grants and loans.