CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Bank of America announced today a relending program to provide more than $400 million in long-term, low-cost financing for community development financial institutions (CDFIs) working in impoverished rural and Native American communities. The Uplift America Community Facilities Relending Program will facilitate the construction of schools, health care centers, child care facilities and other much-needed services in communities with limited infrastructure development and persistent poverty.
Under the program, 26 community lenders and CDFIs, nonprofit private-sector financial institutions that provide credit and financial services to underserved populations were approved for more than $400 million of USDA funding. Bank of America has guaranteed up to $100 million, removing this extra step for CDFIs to guarantee funding and ensuring that low-cost capital is more easily accessible to rural communities.
“By leveraging the work we do with CDFIs, we’re helping to facilitate the investment of much-needed capital resources in impoverished neighborhoods to build stronger local economies,” said Andrew Plepler, Global Environmental, Social and Governance executive at Bank of America. “We are proud of our partnership with the USDA and look forward to seeing the positive impact this funding will have on communities across the nation.”
Participating community lenders and CDFIs are expected to invest in rural and Native American communities to promote employment, education, health and housing outcomes for families by catalyzing substantial, targeted investment in community infrastructure.
“This effort builds on our commitment to lifting up the economic prospects of communities that have not benefited from the revitalization of rural America," said Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack. "By engaging with local and national partners, private-sector financial institutions and philanthropic organizations, USDA will inject a game-changing level of investment capital to reduce poverty in targeted rural areas where the capacity for growth has not been realized.”
Separately, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has committed $1 million to help cover increased program and operational costs of community lenders and CDFIs participating in the program. There are currently $22 million in funds made available by seven foundations, including the bank’s foundation.
Bank of America is the largest investor in CDFIs among major financial institutions, investing more than $1 billion in more than 240 community lender partners across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and helping to provide low-cost capital, liquidity and technical assistance to promote economic development in communities.
To learn more about the USDA Communities Facilities Relending Program and the Uplift America Fund, please visit the USDA Rural Development site and the Uplift America Fund site. To learn more about Bank of America’s work with CDFIs, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/cdfi.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active accounts and more than 20 million mobile active users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.