Last Tuesday, Bank of America announced it had exceeded the $1 billion mark in loans and investments to more than 120 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in 37 states. CDFIs are local institutions, such as credit unions, investment funds and niche banks, that focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Bank of America's work with CDFIs is part of its 10-year, $1.5 trillion community development lending and investing goal – the largest ever established by a U.S. financial institution, which began in 2009 and is focused on affordable housing, small business/farm lending, consumer lending and economic development.
The impact of these investments and loans is tremendous. According to Opportunity Finance Network, CDFIs have provided more than $30 billion in capital to underserved communities. Annually, this financing assists more than 9,000 small businesses, 57,000 affordable housing units, and almost 700 new community facilities, including schools, child care centers and health care facilities, and helps create more than 34,000 jobs.