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CDFI Fund Opens FY 2024 Round of CMF: Applicants Have Myriad Deadlines Over Next Two Months

Published by Amanda Read on Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 10:06AM

The clock is ticking for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 application round for the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF).

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund opened the FY 2024 round of the CMF this week, setting an application deadline of April 16–with several interim deadlines. The CDFI Fund said it plans to award approximately $246.5 million to CDFIs and qualified nonprofit housing organizations to be used to finance affordable housing and related economic development and community service facilities.

The CMF is funded by allocations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and this year’s award total is down from last year’s $321.2 million (which combined the 2022 and 2023 rounds) and the record $336.4 million awarded in the fiscal year 2021 round.

The CMF was established as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and this is the ninth round of funding. In last year’s round, 144 organizations requested more than $1.1 billion in CMF funding, a reminder that this is a competitive program. A two-month window puts that competition in the spotlight.

Eligible applicants are certified CDFIs or nonprofits that operate with a principal purpose of developing or managing affordable housing. CMF recipients can use the funding for such financing activities as capitalizing affordable housing funds, economic development funds, loan loss reserves, revolving loan funds, undertaking risk-sharing loans and providing loan guarantees. Awardees are required to leverage private and public funds to finance activities that yield a minimum ratio of 10:1.

Applicants must be compliant with federal civil rights requirements and this is the first round for which applicants (and prospective subrecipients that are not direct beneficiaries of federal financial assistance) must complete a Title VI Compliance Worksheet annually. 

The application process for CMF awards is made up of two parts: Submitting the SF-424 Mandatory Form through grants.gov and submitting the remainder of the application through the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). Applicants must also have an active account in SAM.gov.

The CDFI Fund’s announcement encouraged all applicants to allow plenty of time to complete the entire registration process and submission process ahead of the application deadlines.

The CDFI Fund provided several deadlines in this week’s announcement:

Blog Graphic: CMF Key Deadlines

The CDFI Fund said it expects to make an awards announcement sometime this year. The FY 2023 awards round opened Jan. 18 and awards were announced Oct. 4.

During its nine-round history, the CMF reports creating more than 63,000 affordable homes, including more than 55,600 rental housing units. At least 70% of CMF funds must be used to finance affordable housing with a minimum 10-year affordability period. The remainder can be used to finance economic development associated with affordable housing. No more than 5% of a CMF award may be used for direct administrative expenses.

CMF funds must be fully committed to projects within two years, with the initial disbursement to at least one project within three years. Projects must be complete within five years.

The CDFI Fund also released several documents related to the application period, including an FAQ document. The CDFI Fund announced that it will host four application webinars via Zoom: Feb. 27, Feb. 28, March 6 and April 3. Register for the webinars via the CDFI Fund page.

Novogradac is available to assist with all steps of the CMF application process, as well as the deployment of funds for those who receive funding and the Feb. 27 Tax Credit Tuesday podcast episode will be about the CMF application.

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