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Waters Praises Work of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)

April 28, 2014
Press Release

In a room full of representatives of banks, non-profits, community advocacy organizations, elected officials and volunteers, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, underscored the importance of community banks, minority and women-owned financial institutions, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to low and moderate-income individuals and communities.

Yesterday, Waters spoke at the Annual Shareholders meeting of Clearinghouse CDFI, a local, mission-based community development lender. Her remarks focused on the importance of CDFIs and minority-owned depository institutions, as well as her work to strengthen them in the aftermath of the economic crisis. She also discussed a number of important federal initiatives in which she has taken a leadership role. These include efforts that evaluate bank performance in meeting the needs of all borrowers, consumer financial protection measures, and the establishment of the Offices of Women and Minority Inclusion (OMWI), which monitor the number of federal contracts going to women and minority-owned businesses.

Waters said, "I believe that CDFIs and minority-owned depository institutions are instrumental to our community's success. Given that most are characterized by local ownership, local control, and local decision making, these community institutions foster economic growth and help to ensure that the financial resources of the local community are put to work on its behalf.  Community development financial institutions help build wealth and keep it inside the community – something that is critically important to ensure that the economic opportunity that is facilitated by these entities is anchored in the areas where it is created."

Clearinghouse CDFI addresses unmet credit needs in California and Nevada by bridging the financing gap between conventional lending standards and the needs of low-income families and communities. To date, the Clearinghouse CDFI has funded a total of $959 million in loans for 1,510 projects in distressed communities, benefiting over 764,000 individuals each year. Clearinghouse CDFI loans have created or retained over 9,850 permanent and construction jobs and developed or rehabilitated 9 million square feet.