Inclusive Economy | March 20, 2017

Budget Watch: Trump seeks to gut CDFI Fund that boosts investment in low-income communities

The team at


Taking the president’s “America First” budget as an expression of Trump’s priorities, it seems poor urban and rural communities don’t rank very high.

The President’s budget calls for all but eliminating the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which makes loans to local banks and other institutions that invest in low-income communities (see, “#CDFIsInvest in U.S. jobs and businesses”).

Last year, Congress appropriated $233 million to the CDFI Fund. That led to $2.1 billion loans and investments that created 28,000 jobs in poor communities, according to FastCompany.

President Trump wants to slash the fund by $210 million, to $19 million. The funding cuts would harm “precisely the communities President Trump seeks to help, including hollowed out inner-city neighborhoods and economically distressed rural communities,” said James R. Klein, president of the CDFI Coalition.

For a taste of what CDFIs do, read ImpactAlpha’s trove of CDFI stories.

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Photo credit: kdoc856