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Highlights

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund in the Department of the Treasury has awarded $21 billion of the $26 billion in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) authorized to be awarded to Community Development Entities (CDE) between 2001 and 2009. CDEs use the NMTC to make qualified investments in low-income communities. Recent congressional interest has focused on participation by minority CDEs. This testimony is based on a recent GAO report (GAO-09-536). As requested, the report (1) identified the number of minority and non-minority CDEs that applied to the CDFI Fund and received NMTC awards, (2) explained the process by which the CDFI Fund makes awards and summarized application scores, (3) described challenges minority and non-minority CDEs face in applying for and receiving awards and, (4) identified efforts the CDFI Fund and others have taken to assist minority CDEs in applying for awards. GAO analyzed CDFI Fund application data and interviewed officials from minority and non-minority CDEs, the CDFI Fund, and industry groups.

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