The Partners for Rural Transformation (PRT) thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Department of the Treasury’s Request for Comment regarding the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Application. The Partners for Rural Transformation (known as the “Partners”) seek to strengthen local economies – generating local wealth that sticks – and build power among those living Native communities, communities of color, and persistently poor rural areas. By drawing on our collective voice and shared experiences, we’re working toward a reimagined future for rural America. Our partnership is led by a steering committee of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving three-quarters of the country’s persistent poverty counties, with headquarters in the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, Native American Communities, the Deep South, the Rio Grande Valley and farming regions in the Rural West. At PRT, many of our Partners believe this starts at financial equity and communities.
The Partners for Rural Transformation applaud the Fund’s desire to strengthen and clarify the Certification/Recertification process, as well as many of the proposed changes. We ask the Fund to seriously consider the issues addressed within this comment. Without the changes we have requested, several of our CDFI members who have decades of direct experience lending to communities of color, Native communities, and persistently poor rural communities, as well as many emerging and existing Native CDFIs will no longer qualify for certification, creating a significant setback in the transformative progress we have been able to achieve.
See PRT’s full comment letter here to read more on PRT’s recommendations to eliminate persistent poverty.