Earmark of Federal Funds

Some critics have implied that federal funding earmarked to NCLR for housing and community development financing has been used, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to advance our public policy efforts on immigration. This is simply untrue.

Our housing and community development financing is carried out through our subsidiary, the Raza Development Fund (RDF). Established in 1999, the mission of RDF is to bring private capital and development assistance to local organizations serving Latino families in areas such as affordable housing, primary health care, and educational facilities. The RDF board of directors includes experts in housing and community programs as well as representatives from a number of prominent private financial institutions, including Bank of America, State Farm Insurance Company, Citi, and JPMorgan Chase.

In 1999, the Department of the Treasury certified RDF as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Today, RDF is by far the nation’s largest and most successful Latino CDFI. Since its inception, RDF has made more than $50 million in loans. More than half of RDF’s capital comes from private financial institutions including Bank of America, State Farm Insurance Companies, Allstate Insurance, and other sources. RDF uses these monies, along with other public and private funds, to finance charter schools, health clinics, day care centers, other community facilities, affordable housing developments, and small businesses.

RDF uses the funds appropriated by Congress under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Fund for the sole purpose of supporting its lending activities. Moreover, RDF’s policy is that all earnings from its lending activities are to be reinvested in the fund for the sole purpose of advancing its mission. Thus, no federal funding earmarked to RDF has been retained by NCLR for any purpose; on the contrary, NCLR supports RDF by deploying considerable resources of its own to assist Latino-serving community-based organizations in developing community facilities and housing programs.

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