West Sacramento, Calif. — Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) and our partners in the California Coalition for Community Investment (CCCI) applaud recently passed legislation that will create a $50 million California Investment and Innovation Fund (CII Fund). Signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 1, 2022, the grant program will enhance Community Development Financial Institutions’ (CDFIs) capacity to provide technical assistance and capital access for economically distressed communities.

Low-income and BIPOC communities continue to bear the disproportionate burden of the pandemic and generations of systemic divestment. The $50 million CII Fund will catalyze CDFIs to meet the crisis at hand. The CII Fund is modeled on the Federal CDFI Fund and provides resources to CDFIs statewide to help support an equitable recovery for the urban, rural and Native communities who are historically among the most impacted and least resourced.

“California’s vital community projects, small businesses and entrepreneurs still need capital and technical assistance,” said Suzanne Anarde, RCAC Chief Executive Officer. “It is with tremendous gratitude that we thank Senators Anna Caballero and Monique Limón for their leadership and commitment to ensuring the CII Fund’s creation, and we’re grateful to the Governor for understanding the critical role CDFIs play in helping underserved communities thrive.”

As nonprofit and for-profit mission-driven lenders, CDFIs provide responsive, affordable credit and technical assistance where traditional banks often do not. CDFIs play an essential role in bringing public and private investment to historically underserved communities to deliver affordable housing, strengthen climate resilience, support small businesses, provide access to safe and affordable drinking water, construct healthcare facilities, expand access to healthy foods and more.

The California Coalition for Community Investment (CCCI) is a statewide coalition of more than 30 CDFIs. The coalition brings together diverse leaders that advocate for CDFIs working across the state to ensure California communities are resilient against crisis, are healthy and housed, and have access to economic opportunities. CCCI members provide financing, technical assistance and other support services focused on providing access to capital for underserved communities. To learn more about CCCI, visit https://www.calcci.org/

Founded in 1978, RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. RCAC serves rural communities in 13 western states and western Pacific islands. Services are available to communities with populations of fewer than 50,000, other non-profit groups, Tribal organizations, farmworkers, colonias and other specific populations. RCAC staff provides direct services in program areas including affordable housing, environmental services, economic development and lending. To learn more about RCAC, visit http://www.rcac.org

Julia Helmreich, Director
Communications, Development & Events
(916) 529-7563