Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) leaders recently came together for a meeting with the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra and Chief Strategy Officer David Uejio. This delegation was assembled by the Native CDFI Network (NCN) including Pete Upton (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska), Chairman and CEO of NCN, Rollin Wood (Cherokee), CEO of Native Partnership for Housing, Ron Maldonado (Navajo), President of Native Partnership for Housing, and Fern Orie (Oneida), CEO of The Matriarch Group. The inclusion of Fern Orie (Oneida), a recent appointee to the Consumer Advisory Board of the CFPB, underscored a strong commitment to understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by Native communities.
Discussions covered a diverse array of critical topics, including deliberations about the HUD 184 program, CDFI Certification updates, developments linked to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and the overarching challenges faced by numerous Native communities, with a specific focus on housing disparities and the absence of traditional financial institutions to serve these regions.
From the outset, Director Chopra exhibited unwavering dedication to Indian Country. His deep understanding of the issues and challenges Native communities confront instilled hope for productive collaboration aimed at addressing the pressing concerns experienced by Native CDFIs daily. The meeting served as a clear affirmation of the CFPB’s commitment to actively support underserved communities.