Western Reserve Community Fund Obtains Community Development Financial Institution Certification

Feb 12, 2021 | News, Newsletter

Christopher Burnham
Development Finance Authority

 

The Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF), which is managed by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA), has received official certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) from the CDFI Fund, a program overseen by the U.S. Treasury. All CDFI’s share a common goal of expanding economic opportunity in Low-Income Communities by providing access to financial products and services for local residents and businesses, striving to foster economic opportunity and revitalized neighborhoods.

CDFI certification has a critically important role in WRCF’s long-term sustainability. Receiving this designation makes WRCF eligible for financial assistance awards available through the CDFI Fund such as the Rapid Response Program (RRP), and attracts additional investment from Community Reinvestment Act-interested partners. “More importantly,” according to WRCF Executive Director Rachel Bridenstine, “certification allows us to build upon the great work we’ve already accomplished by enabling WRCF to have a greater regional community impact.” DFA President Chris Burnham explained that the path to certification “began in 2011 when DFA moved into the New Markets Tax Credit environment and realized the significant unmet need for flexible and affordable capital in so many of our communities. We’ve been fortunate to interact with and have the support of many community partners and look forward to building this mission-based lending platform.”

WRCF was established in 2019, and its mission is to support and further community development and job creation in Northeast Ohio, through access to capital and development services. WRCF has a variety of financial products. In addition to its general loan fund, WRCF collaborated with community partners to launch the Minority Contractor Capital Access Program (MCCAP), the Akron Resiliency Fund, and the Summit County Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

For more information about the WRCF and its many programs, please visit     www.developmentfinanceauthority.org

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