Native CDFI Network strives to be an active voice for our members who are involved in the day-to-day work of promoting economic equity for Native peoples and building thriving economies across Indian Country. Our advocacy efforts involve reporting on important industry challenges and successes, collectively responding to calls for comment on policy changes and initiatives and informing our members and supporters of relevant policy matters. In addition, our team actively serves on boards and advisory committees, engages in critical partnerships, and participates in speaking engagements that expand the voice of Native CDFIs within and outside our industry spaces. Check out what NCN has been up to on your behalf!
ACTIONABLE STEPS TOWARD OUR GOALS
- NCN hosted a two part training series: “Introduction to Commercial Solar Finance for CDFIs”. The objectives informed CDFIs how they can help bring solar energy to communities through a variety of project finance strategies – including community solar, commercial and multifamily project finance, municipal and other public projects, and financing for installers who offer solar leasing or power purchase agreements to end users.
NCN’s CEO Pete Upton participated in a roundtable meeting on the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund hosted by JP Morgan Chase & Co. The primary objective of this convening was to explore opportunities to optimize and leverage the capabilities of CDFIs as implementors of the financing infrastructure to successfully deploy GGRF grants and finance an accelerated and inclusive clean energy transition in target communities.
- In collaboration with the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC) and Sovereign Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations, a letter was sent to Senator Charles Schumer and Speaker Kevin McCarthy calling on Congress to Increase Funding for the HUD Section 4 Program to $50 Million and Establish a 10% Set- Aside for Tribal Communities for FY 2024.
- NCN launched a new capacity building service for its members. NCN will work with members who are CDFI certified and/or have received funding from the CDFI Fund to collect information for three key CDFI Fund reports and enter the required information into AMIS. A list of the reports eligible for this service, along with report due dates and related services fees can be found here.
- NCN released the results of its comprehensive survey documenting the likely impacts the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the CDFI Certification Application and related regulations will have on Native CDFIs. More than 50 Native CDFI chief executives responded to the survey.
- NCN began a new series of conversations with industry experts and policymakers designed to expand the power of Native CDFIs to grow economic opportunity for Native peoples. A recap of “NCN Live” conversations can be viewed here. See upcoming webisodes here.
- NCN CEO and Chairman Pete Upton travelled to Phoenix, AZ to attend a workshop on the CDFI Fund NMTC Program Native Initiative. This workshop was hosted by Big Water Consulting. Click here for a recap of the event.
- NCN engaged Native CDFIs across the country to develop and submit formal comments on the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the Annual Certification and Data Collection Report Form (ACR); the comments were joined by 17 Native CDFI co-signatories.
- NCN designed and deployed a comprehensive survey that sought to better understand the likely impacts of the CDFI Fund’s proposed changes to the CDFI Certification Application and related regulations. A total of 51 Native CDFI chief executives responded to the survey, with NCN set to release the survey findings in February 2023.
- NCN resumed its popular “Difference Makers” interview series with Native CDFI chief executives, releasing an interview with Leonard Smith, CEO of Native American Development Corporation. NCAN Plans to release several more interviews in the coming months.
- NCN launched a Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Tribal Relations (OTR). The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to produce an electronic toolkit (NCN e-toolkit) empowering Native CDFIs and promoting tribal community awareness of and access to Rural Development programming. The NCN e-toolkit will include best practices in identifying program fit for proposed activities, accessing and utilizing each program, and recordkeeping and reporting strategies. The e-toolkit work products will be tailored specifically to the unique needs and aspects of Indian Country and Tribal Nations and is expected to launch later this year.