Maui News

House Passes Amendment to Provide $1M to Native CDFIs

September 14, 2017, 10:15 AM HST
* Updated September 14, 9:41 AM
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Courtesy photo.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed Amendment No. 220 to an appropriations package to provide an additional $1 million to the Native American Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).

The appropriations package was introduced by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02).

The amendment will provide additional awards to organizations that make credit, capital and other essential financial services available to underserved and impoverished native communities.

“I rise today [Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017] in support of an amendment to provide additional funding for the Native American CDFI Assistance Program,” Congresswoman Gabbard said. “The CDFI Fund’s Native Initiative Program seeks to level the economic playing field by providing awards to organizations that make credit, capital, and other essential financial services available to underserved and impoverished native communities.

“In the past, this program has funded organizations like Lei Ho‘olaha which provides financial training and loans to charter schools and community centers in Hawai‘i to help make them creditworthy,” Rep. Gabbard said. “The program has also funded the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to improve access to capital for people living in Native Hawaiian communities who want to purchase affordable homes, start new businesses and help drive commerce.

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“We must build upon this progress in native communities and increase funding for the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiative to build businesses, create jobs, empower native communities, and spur economic growth,” Rep. Gabbard said. “Please support this amendment.”

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BNative Americans, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians face unique and heightened challenges to accessing basic financial services in this country—hampering economic growth nationwide. The program has awarded more than $120 million and provided over 1,600 hours of training to Native CDFIs.

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