Delta Community Capital Initiative
The Delta Community Capital Initiative (DCCI) is a collaborative effort among three federal agencies - the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of the Treasury - Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), and the Department of Agriculture – Rural Development (USDA-RD).The DCCI’s goal is to increase access to capital for affordable housing, business lending and community facilities in the chronically underserved and undercapitalized Lower Mississippi Delta Region. Specifically, it will provide direct investment and technical assistance to community development lending and investing institutions that focus on affordable housing, small business and community facilities to benefit the residents of Lower Mississippi Delta Region.
HUD, USDA-RD and the CDFI Fund have all identified the lack of capacity among organizations serving the Delta Region and similar persistent poverty communities as a limiting factor in the effectiveness of federal programs. Inconsistent availability of limited public funding in any one region or community plays a role in this because organizations specializing in affordable housing, small business support and community facilities cannot sustain themselves and grow. All of the agencies recognize that the targeted Delta communities and populations receive insufficient services because they lack organizations with the capacity to effectively respond to community needs. Conversely, higher-capacity organizations working throughout the Delta consistently cite lack of access to capital as a major barrier to expansion.
The DCCI focuses on improving Lower Mississippi Delta Region communities and creating asset building opportunities for Delta residents by helping local financial institutions improve their capacity to raise capital, and to lend and invest it in their communities. Strengthening local community development lenders and investors will also widen the channels through which larger private institutions and federal agencies can reach potential home owners, renters, business owners, facilities operators and service providers who need their support.
Roles of the Federal Partners
- Make grants available to community development lenders and investors serving Lower Mississippi Delta Region and Delta residents, pursuant to a Notice of Funding Availability
- Provide points for rural and tribal Promise Zones under the President’s Ladders of Opportunity Initiative, should any be designated, pursuant to a Notice of Fund Availability
- Evaluate the outcomes of the DCCI in relation to other HUD grant-making approaches
The CDFI Fund will:
- Provide scholarships for DCCI grantees, allowing staff to attend CDFI Fund sponsored training workshops
- Provide DCCI grantees with technical assistance opportunities
- Sponsor webinars specific to the needs of DCCI grantees
USDA-Rural Development will:
- Where appropriate and permitted under program regulations, make efforts to award points in relevant program areas for DCCI grantees
- Engage other entities of USDA to assess capacity of DCCI grantees to help deliver programs supporting production agriculture businesses and business activities promoting fresh food access and distribution in the Delta region, and other policy priorities
Eligible Applicants: Applicants that are eligible to participate in this initiative are community development lenders and investors, which may be local rural non-profit organizations. Applicants do not need to be certified as Community Development Financial Institutions by the CDFI Fund at the time of application. If applicants propose to become certified as a CDFI, they should lay out milestones and timeframes toward the CDFI certification process in their application. Applicants may serve other markets than Delta residents and communities, using other sources of financing.
Goals: Funds may be used to support eligible activities that serve the following goals:
- Expanding services in eligible Lower Mississippi Delta Region target markets (as defined below) by established lenders and investors in affordable housing, small business, and community facilities
- Securing new public or private capital sources for lending or investing in affordable housing, small business and community facilities in existing or new eligible target markets
Eligible Target Markets: Eligible target markets for use of DCCI funds include geographic areas and/or populations, as described below.
Geographic areas include the 252 counties and parishes in eight states that make up the Lower Mississippi Delta Region, as defined by the Delta Regional Authority. The Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership working to stimulate economic development and governed by the Delta Regional Authority Board, comprised of the Federal Co-Chairman, appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and the governors of the eight states. The eight states that are included in the region are: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. A full list of all 252 eligible counties and parishes can be found on the DRA website.
Applicants may also serve populations of borrowers or investees including:
- Current low income residents of the Delta Region, and/or
- Businesses owned by or serving low income residents of the Delta Region, and/or
- Community facilities serving Delta communities or low income Delta residents.
- Owners of rental housing serving residents of the Delta Region
Eligible Activities: Innovative housing and economic development uses, including but not limited to loan or investment capital, loan loss reserves, program staff costs, information systems, market studies, portfolio analyses, business planning, and other activities supporting the program goals.
Grant Amount and Term: The maximum amount of funds available for is $1,000,000. The maximum grant award will be up to $200,000. HUD will enter into a grant agreement with successful applicants for the performance period for up to 36 months.