Certification as a Community Development Financial Institution.
An entity may apply to the Fund for certification that it meets the CDFI eligibility requirements regardless of whether it is seeking financial or technical assistance from the Fund. Entities seeking such certification shall provide the information set forth in the application for certification. Certification by the Fund will verify that the entity meets the CDFI eligibility requirements. However, such certification shall not constitute an opinion by the Fund as to the financial viability of the CDFI or that the CDFI will be selected to receive an award from the Fund. The Fund, in its sole discretion, shall have the right to decertify a certified entity after a determination that the eligibility requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, § 1805.200(b) or (a)(4) (if applicable) are no longer met.
(b) Eligibility verification.
An Applicant shall demonstrate whether it meets the eligibility requirements described in this paragraph (b) of this section and § 1805.200 by providing the information described in the application for certification demonstrating that the Applicant meets the eligibility requirements described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(6) of this section. The Fund, in its sole discretion, shall determine whether an Applicant has satisfied the requirements of this paragraph (b) and § 1805.200.
(1) Primary mission.
A CDFI shall have a primary mission of promoting community development. In determining whether an Applicant has such a primary mission, the Fund will consider whether the activities of the Applicant are purposefully directed toward improving the social and/or economic conditions of underserved people (which may include Low-Income persons and persons who lack adequate access to capital and/or Financial Services) and/or residents of economically distressed communities (which may include Investment Areas).
(2) Financing entity.
A CDFI shall be an entity whose predominant business activity is the provision, in arms-length transactions, of Financial Products, Development Services, and/or other similar financing. An Applicant may demonstrate that it is such an entity if it is a(n):
Depository Institution Holding Company;
Insured Depository Institution, Insured Credit Union, or State-Insured Credit Union; or
Organization that is deemed by the Fund to have such a predominant business activity as a result of analysis of its financial statements, organizing documents, and any other information required to be submitted as part of its application. In conducting such analysis, the Fund may take into consideration an Applicant's total assets and its use of personnel.
(3) Target Market.
An Applicant may be found to serve a Target Market by virtue of serving one or more Investment Areas and/or Targeted Populations. An Investment Area shall meet specific geographic and other criteria described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, and a Targeted Population shall meet the criteria described in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) in this section.
(ii) Investment Area.
A geographic area will be considered eligible for designation as an Investment Area if it:
(1) Is entirely located within the geographic boundaries of the United States (which shall encompass any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or any territory of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands); and either
(2) Meets at least one of the objective criteria of economic distress as set forth in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(D) of this section and has significant unmet needs for loans, Equity Investments, or Financial Services as described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(E) of this section; or
(3) Encompasses (i.e. wholly consists of) or is wholly located within an Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community designated under section 1391 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1391 ).
(B) Geographic units.
Subject to the remainder of this paragraph (B), an Investment Area shall consist of a geographic unit(s) that is a county (or equivalent area), minor civil division that is a unit of local government, incorporated place, census tract, block numbering area, block group, or American Indian or Alaska Native area (as such units are defined or reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census). However, geographic units in Metropolitan Areas that are used to comprise an Investment Area shall be limited to census tracts, block groups and American Indian or Alaskan Native areas. An Applicant may designate one or more Investment Areas as part of a single application.
An Applicant may designate an Investment Area by selecting:
(1) A geographic unit(s) which individually meets one of the criteria in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(D) of this section; or
(2) A group of contiguous geographic units which together meet one of the criteria in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(D) of this section, provided that the combined population residing within individual geographic units not meeting any such criteria does not exceed 15 percent of the total population of the entire Investment Area.
(D) Distress criteria.
An Investment Area (or the units that comprise an area) must meet at least one of the following objective criteria of economic distress (as reported in the most recently completed decennial census published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census):
(1) The percentage of the population living in poverty is at least 20 percent;
(2) In the case of an Investment Area located:
(i) Within a Metropolitan Area, the median family income shall be at or below 80 percent of the Metropolitan Area median family income or the national Metropolitan Area median family income, whichever is greater; or
(ii) Outside of a Metropolitan Area, the median family income shall be at or below 80 percent of the statewide non-Metropolitan Area median family income or the national non-Metropolitan Area median family income, whichever is greater;
(3) The unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times the national average;
(4) In counties located outside of a Metropolitan Area, the county population loss during the period between the most recent decennial census and the previous decennial census is at least 10 percent; or
(5) In counties located outside of a Metropolitan Area, the county net migration loss during the five-year period preceding the most recent decennial census is at least five percent.
(E) Unmet needs.
An Investment Area will be deemed to have significant unmet needs for loans or Equity Investments if a narrative analysis provided by the Applicant adequately demonstrate a pattern of unmet needs for Financial Products or Financial Services within such area(s).
(F) Serving Investment Areas.
An Applicant may serve an Investment Area directly or through borrowers or investees that serve the Investment Area or provide significant benefits to its residents.
(iii) Targeted Population.
Targeted Population shall mean individuals, or an identifiable group of individuals, who are Low-Income persons or lack adequate access to Financial Products or Financial Services in the Applicant's service area. The members of a Targeted Population shall reside within the boundaries of the United States (which shall encompass any State of the United States, the District of Columbia or any territory of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands).
(B) Serving A Targeted Population.
An Applicant may serve the members of a Targeted Population directly or indirectly or through borrowers or investees that directly serve or provide significant benefits to such members.
(4) Development Services.
A CDFI directly, through an Affiliate, or through a contract with another provider, shall provide Development Services in conjunction with its Financial Products.
A CDFI must maintain accountability to residents of its Investment Area(s) or Targeted Population(s) through representation on its governing board or otherwise.
A CDFI shall not be an agency or instrumentality of the United States, or any State or political subdivision thereof. An entity that is created by, or that receives substantial assistance from, one or more government entities may be a CDFI provided it is not controlled by such entities and maintains independent decision-making power over its activities.