Skip to Content

Notice

Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program-Native American CDFI Development Program

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION:

Notice of funds availability (“NOFA”) inviting applications for the FY 2003 and FY 2004 funding rounds of the Native American CDFI Development (“NACD”) Program.

SUMMARY:

This NOFA is issued in connection with the FY 2003 and FY 2004 funding rounds of the NACD Program. Through the NACD Program and subject to appropriation of funding for the purposes enumerated in this NOFA, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (the “Fund”) will provide technical assistance (“TA”) grants to organizations that plan to create community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to serve Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian communities.

Interested parties should be aware that implementation of the FY 2003/04 NOFA for the NACD Program is contingent on the appropriation of funds for the purposes enumerated in this NOFA; as of the date of this NOFA, said appropriation is pending with Congress. The Fund will issue a notice on its Web site, at http://www.cdfifund.gov, at such time that the Fund has the authority to implement the FY 2003/04 NOFA for the NACD Program. Applicants may submit applications pursuant to this NOFA as set forth herein; however, the Fund will not review applications or make awards unless and until funds are appropriated for the purposes and uses set forth in this NOFA.

The Preamble to the Fund's NOFAs, published in this issue of the Federal Register also specifies other program information, including eligibility requirements, for each of the Fund's programs. The Fund encourages applicants to review the revised interim rule and the Preamble to the NOFAs.

The FY 2003 and FY 2004 Technical Assistance Component and the NACD Program together replace the Native American CDFI Technical Assistance (“NACTA”) Component that was made available in FY 2002.

Subject to funding availability, the Fund expects that it may award approximately $3 million for FY 2003 awards, and approximately $1.5 million for FY 2004 awards, in appropriated funds under this NACD Program NOFA. The Fund reserves the right to award in excess of said funds under this NOFA provided that the appropriated funds are available and the Fund deems it appropriate. The Fund intends to make information available on its website about the level of dollars remaining available on a regular basis.

Applicants should note that the Fund expects that the funding round for this NOFA (and the NOFA for the Technical Assistance Component of the CDFI Program, also published in the Federal Register on this date) will extend over a two year funding round, subject to funding availability and Fiscal Year 2004 appropriations.

Under this NOFA, the Fund anticipates making TA grants up to $100,000 per awardee. The Fund, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to award amounts in excess of the anticipated maximum award if the Fund deems it appropriate. The Fund reserves Start Printed Page 5732the right to fund, in whole or in part, any, all, or none of the applications submitted in response to this NOFA.

DATES:

Shortly following the publication of this NOFA, the Fund will make available the FY 2003 funding application on its Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov. Applicants may download the application from the Fund's Web site or request application packages by contacting the Fund, as described below.

The Fund will accept and review applications under this NACD Program NOFA as they are submitted and in the order in which they are submitted. Applications may be submitted at any time, commencing with the date of the publication of this NOFA. Applications must be received in the specific Bureau of the Public Debt—Franchise Services (BPD) office designated below not later than 5:00 p.m. ET on May 31, 2004. Any applicant whose application is declined may submit a new application before May 31, 2004. Applications received in the specific BPD office designated below after that date and time will be rejected and returned to the sender.

Applications sent by facsimile or e-mail will not be accepted; however, an electronic application may be made available for this NOFA at a later date and, if so, its availability and related guidance will be announced on the Fund's Web site.

ADDRESSES:

Applications must be sent to: CDFI Fund Awards Manager, NACD Program, Bureau of Public Debt—Franchising, 200 Third Street, Room 211, Parkersburg, WV 26101. The telephone number to be used in conjunction with overnight mailings to this address is (304) 480-5450. Applications will not be accepted at the Fund's offices. Applications received in the Fund's offices will be rejected and returned to the sender.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have any questions about the programmatic requirements for this program, contact the Fund's Program Operations Manager. If you have questions regarding administrative requirements, contact the Fund's Awards Manager. The Program Operations Manager and the Awards Manager may be reached by e-mail at cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov, by telephone at (202) 622-6355, by facsimile at (202) 622-7754, or by mail at CDFI Fund, 601 13th Street, NW., Suite 200 South, Washington, DC 20005. These are not toll free numbers. Applications and other information regarding the Fund and its programs may be downloaded and printed from the Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov or requested by contacting the Fund, as described above. Allow at least one to two weeks from the date the Fund receives the request for receipt of the application.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Eligibility

The NACD Program application specifies the eligibility requirements that each applicant must meet in order to be eligible to apply for assistance under this NOFA. The following sets forth some additional detail and certain additional dates that relate to the submission of applications under this NOFA:

(1) Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants for the NACD Program consist of:

(a) Category I, meaning Tribes, Tribal entities and nonprofit organizations that primarily (at least 50 percent of activities directed toward) serve Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian populations including:

(i) Tribes, Tribal entities, Alaska Native Villages, Village Corporations, Regional Corporations, Non-Profit Regional Corporations/Associations, or Inter-Tribal or Inter-Village organizations; and

(ii) non-profit community organizations engaged in related activities, including, but not limited to: Community development corporations (CDCs), training or educational organizations, Tribally-Controlled Community Colleges, Chambers of Commerce, or Urban Indian Centers that serve primarily a Native American, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian Community (such entities were referred to as Category II applicants under the FY 2002 NACTA Component); and

(b) Category II, meaning TA providers or other suitable providers, including:

(i) TA providers such as firms that provide training or TA in community development finance or that specialize in economic development in Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian communities, and

(ii) other suitable providers, as defined by the Fund, that include, but are not limited to: CDCs, certified CDFIs, or organizations with experience and expertise in banking and lending in Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian communities) (such entities were referred to as Category III applicants under the FY 2002 NACTA Component).

Any applicant, under Category II above, including CDFIs, that does not serve primarily a Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian community must identify a Native American Partner that serves primarily a Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian community and with which the applicant will work with to establish a CDFI in the Native American Partner's community or service area that in turn will serve primarily a Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian community. The Native American Partner must be a party to both the application for funding and the Assistance Agreement, if the applicant is selected for funding. Category II applicants may propose to serve more than one Native American, Alaska Native and/or Native Hawaiian community. If more than one such communities are to be served, then more than one Native American Partner may be a party to the application and the Assistance Agreement, as long as such Native American Partner(s) is representative of the predominance (plurality) of the market to be served by the proposed CDFI. If not, the Fund may require that the applicant obtain additional Native American Partner(s).

(2) Certification: For purposes of this NACD Program NOFA, eligible applicants must establish entities that will become Fund-certified CDFIs by January 31, 2006 (for applications received by May 31, 2003) or by January 31, 2007 (for applications received between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004). Applicants may obtain CDFI certification applications through the Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov.

(3) Designation of Targeted Population: For purposes of this NOFA, the Fund will use the following definitions, set forth in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Notice, Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (October 30, 1997):

(a) American Indian, Native American or Alaska Native: a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment; and

(b) Native Hawaiian: a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii.

(4) Previous Awardees: Applicants must be aware that success in a previous round of the CDFI Program or the NACTA Program is not indicative of success under this NOFA. Previous awardees are eligible to apply under this NOFA, except as follows:

(a) the Fund is generally prohibited from obligating more than $5 million in assistance, in the aggregate, to any one CDFI and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates during any three-year period (further guidance on the calculation of the $5 Start Printed Page 5733million cap is available on the Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov);

(b) the Fund will not consider an application submitted by an applicant that is a previous Fund awardee under any Fund program or component of the CDFI Program if the applicant has failed to meet its reporting requirements, set forth in the previously executed assistance or award agreement(s), as of the date an application for funding under this NOFA is received by the CDFI Fund; and

(c) the Fund will not consider an application submitted by an applicant that is a previous Fund awardee under any Fund program or component of the CDFI Program that has a balance of undisbursed funds under said previous award, as of the date an application for funding under this NOFA is received by the CDFI Fund. Accordingly, applicants that are previous awardees are advised to:

(i) submit all required reports by the deadlines specified in the assistance or award agreements governing said prior awards and to comply with all requirements found therein, and

(ii) contact the appropriate Program Operations representative of the Fund to ensure that actions are underway for the disbursement of any outstanding balance of said prior award.

II. Types of Assistance

An applicant may only submit an application for a TA grant under this NOFA. The Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to provide a TA grant for uses other than that which is requested by an applicant.

Applicants for TA grants under this NOFA shall describe the type(s) of TA requested, when the TA will be acquired, the provider(s) of the TA, the cost of the TA, and a narrative description of how the TA will enhance their community development impact by creating a CDFI. Eligible types of TA grant uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Acquiring consulting services;

(2) Paying staff salary for the limited purposes of completing tasks and/or fulfilling functions that are otherwise eligible TA grant uses under this NOFA;

(3) Acquiring/enhancing technology items; and

(4) Acquiring training for staff or management (under Category I only).

The Fund will generally not consider requests for TA grants under this NOFA for expenses that, in the determination of the Fund, are deemed to be ongoing operating expenses rather than non-recurring expenses. The Fund will consider requests for the use of TA to pay for staff salary only when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Fund that:

(a) The staff salary relates directly to building the applicant's capacity to serve its target market;

(b) The proposed staff time to be paid for by the TA grant will be used for a non-recurring activity or the staff salary will build the applicant's capacity to achieve its objectives as set forth in its application;

(c) The proposed activity would otherwise be contracted to a consultant or not be undertaken; and

(d) The staff person assigned to the proposed task has the competence to successfully complete the activity. Further guidance on the limited uses of TA grants for staff salary expenditures is available on the Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov.

III. Application Packet

Applicants under this NOFA must submit all materials described in the applicable application. An application must include a valid and current Employer Identification Number, issued by the Internal Revenue Service, or the application will be rejected as incomplete and returned to the sender.

IV. Evaluation

For purposes of this NACD Program NOFA, the Fund will evaluate applications through a merit-based, qualitative application process, in the order in which they are submitted, until such point as all appropriated funds allocated for this NOFA are obligated or May 31, 2004, whichever occurs first. Applications submitted after that point will not be considered for funding; said applications will be rejected and returned to the sender.

All applications will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness. If determined to be eligible and complete, the Fund will conduct the substantive review of each application in accordance with the criteria and procedures described in the interim regulations, this NOFA and the application. In the first part of the substantive review, the Fund will evaluate each application on a 100-point scale, comprising the four criteria categories set forth below, and assign numeric scores. Applicants whose applications are assigned 60 points or more will be considered for TA awards.

(1) Market Need and CDFI Strategy: including a review of the applicant's understanding of the market context, the prospective customers, the extent of economic distress within the likely Investment Area(s) or the extent of need within the likely Targeted Population(s), the extent of need for the proposed CDFI, the level of support from the Target Market, and the appropriateness of the proposed products and services to meet the needs in the market of the proposed CDFI, appropriateness of the proposed organizational structure. For any entity that has already received an award from the Fund, the applicant also will be evaluated on the extent to which it proposes to create greater community development impact than to be achieved through the prior award and its track record in meeting previous performance goals and other Assistance Agreement requirements (maximum 25 points; minimum of 12 points required to be considered for an award);

(2) Management: including a review of the applicant's current and proposed management team, governing board, and key staff, its policies and procedures for financial management, and its track record in underwriting and portfolio management, if applicable, and its ability to create the proposed CDFI and to successfully use the requested TA. For any applicant that has received one or more prior awards through the CDFI Program, the Fund will consider the extent to which the applicant has submitted required reports in a timely manner and otherwise complied with the Fund's requirements (maximum 25 points; minimum of 12 points required to be considered for an award);

(3) Financial Health and Resources: including a review of the applicant's financial strength, its liquidity, and the likelihood of obtaining resources to initiate and sustain operations of the proposed CDFI, and a clear indication that the proposed CDFI will not be fiscally dependent on the Fund (maximum 10 points; minimum of 5 points required to be considered for an award);

(4) Community Development Performance and Effective Use of TA: including the projected level of activity within the Target Market of the proposed CDFI; the extent to which the applicant needs the Fund's assistance to achieve the objectives set forth in its application; and the likelihood that the Fund's assistance will enhance the applicant's ability to effectively serve its Target Market by creating a CDFI and achieve community development impact (maximum 40 points; minimum of 20 points required to be considered for an award).

Fund reviewers will evaluate and score each application and make recommendations for funding to the Fund's selecting official. As part of the substantive review process, applicants may receive a telephone interview or an on-site visit by Fund reviewers for the purpose of obtaining, clarifying, or Start Printed Page 5734confirming application information. During the review process, the applicant may be required to submit additional information about its application in order to assist the Fund in its final evaluation process. Such requests must be responded to within the time parameters set by the Fund.

In the case of an applicant that has previously received funding from the Fund under the Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program, the CDFI Program or the NACTA Component, the Fund will consider, as appropriate:

(a) The applicant's level of success and extent of compliance in meeting its performance goals, financial soundness covenants (if applicable) and other requirements set forth in the assistance or award agreement(s) with the Fund;

(b) The benefits that will be created with new Fund assistance over and above benefits created by previous Fund assistance; and

(c) The extent and effectiveness to which the applicant has used previous assistance from the Fund.

The Fund's selecting official will make a final funding determination based on the applicant's file, reviewer scores and recommendations, and the amount of funds available. In the case of regulated CDFIs, the selecting official will take into consideration the views of the appropriate Federal banking agencies.

Each applicant will be informed of the Fund's award decision either through a Notice of Award if selected for an award (see Notice of Award section, below) or a declination letter, if not selected for an award, which may be for reasons of application incompleteness, ineligibility or substantive issues. Any applicant that is not selected for an award due to application incompleteness or ineligibility, and that believes that such decision was made in error, may appeal said decision by notifying the Fund's Awards Manager in writing or by e-mail (at cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov, Attention: Awards Manager); such appeals must be received by the Fund within five business days of the date of the declination letter. Such appeal requests will be reviewed by the Fund's Deputy Director for Management and the Deputy Director for Policy and Programs, as appropriate, whose decision will be final. All applicants that are not selected for awards based on substantive issues, will be given the opportunity to request feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their applications. This feedback will be provided in a format and within a timeframe to be determined by the Fund.

The Fund reserves the right to change these evaluation procedures if the Fund deems it appropriate; if said procedural changes materially affect the Fund's award decisions, the Fund will provide information regarding the procedural changes through the Fund's Web site.

V. Notice of Award

The Fund will signify its selection of an applicant as an awardee by delivering a signed Notice of Award to the applicant. The Notice of Award will contain the general terms and conditions underlying the Fund's provision of assistance including, but not limited to, the requirement that an awardee and the Fund enter into an Assistance Agreement. The applicant shall execute the Notice of Award and return it to the Fund. By executing a Notice of Award, the awardee agrees that, if prior to entering into an Assistance Agreement with the Fund, information comes to the attention of the Fund that either adversely affects the awardee's eligibility for an award, or adversely affects the Fund's evaluation of the awardee's application, or indicates fraud or mismanagement on the part of the awardee, the Fund may, in its discretion and without advance notice to the awardee, terminate the Notice of Award or take such other actions as it deems appropriate. Moreover, by executing a Notice of Award, an awardee agrees that, if prior to entering into an Assistance Agreement with the Fund, the Fund determines that the awardee is not in compliance with the terms of any previous Assistance Agreement entered into with the Fund, the Fund may, in its discretion and without advance notice to the awardee, either terminate the Notice of Award or take such other actions as it deems appropriate. The Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to rescind its award if the awardee fails to return the Notice of Award, signed by the authorized representative of the awardee, along with any other requested documentation, within the deadline set by the Fund.

VI. Assistance Agreement

Each applicant that is selected to receive an award under this NOFA must enter into an Assistance Agreement with the Fund. The Assistance Agreement will set forth certain required terms and conditions of the award, which may include, but not be limited to:

(a) The amount of the award;

(b) The approved uses of the award;

(c) The approved Target Market to which the award must be targeted;

(d) Performance goals and measures; and

(e) Reporting requirements for all awardees.

Assistance Agreements under this NOFA will generally have three-year performance periods. The Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to rescind its award if the awardee fails to return the Assistance Agreement, signed by the authorized representative of the awardee, along with any other requested documentation, within the deadline set by the Fund.

VII. Reporting and Monitoring

The Fund will collect information, on at least an annual basis, from NACD Program awardees, including:

(a) Annual reports related to, among other matters, awardee compliance with the performance goals and measures set forth in the Assistance Agreement; and

(b) Such other information as the Fund may require. The Fund will use such information to monitor each awardee's compliance with the requirements set forth in the Assistance Agreement. The Fund will also use such information to assess the impact of the NACD Program. The Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify these reporting requirements if it determines it to be appropriate and necessary; however, such reporting requirements will be modified only after due notice to the awardee.

The Fund reserves the right, in accordance with applicable Federal law and if authorized, to charge award reservation and/or compliance monitoring fees to all entities receiving NACD Program awards. Prior to imposing any such fee, the Fund will publish additional information concerning the nature and amount of the fee.

VIII. Information Sessions

In connection with the Fiscal Year 2003 funding rounds of its programs, the Fund may conduct Information Sessions to disseminate information to organizations contemplating applying to, and other organizations interested in learning about, the Technical Assistance and Financial Assistance Components of the CDFI Program, the NACD Program, and the BEA Program. For further information on the Fund's Information Sessions, dates and locations, or to register online to attend an Information Session, please visit the Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov or call the Fund at (202) 622-8401.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: 21.020)

Start Authority

Start Printed Page 5735 Authority: 12 U.S.C. 4703, 4703 note, 4704, 4706, 4707, 4717; 12 CFR part 1805.

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: January 27, 2003.

Tony T. Brown,

Director, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-2338 Filed 2-3-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-70-P