CDFA is the voice of development finance on Capitol Hill and with the federal Administration by providing leadership on policy decisions that impact the industry. CDFA is a bipartisan organization that supports sound public policy and the leadership involved in making important decisions affecting development finance.
Each year CDFA produces a Policy Agenda and works with legislators and federal officials to advance these initiatives. Additionally, CDFA holds briefings, trainings, and advises legislative and federal stakeholders on numerous topics.
Want regular updates on legislative and federal affairs? CDFA publishes the highly popular Legislative & Federal Affairs Update
each month. This free newsletter features development finance news, resources, case studies, and the latest from Capitol Hill and the federal government.
Development Finance Solutions
for Building Back Better
Development Finance Solutions for Building Back Better
Policy Priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration
Access to affordable, flexible, and efficient public and private capital remains the primary barrier to economic development in the United States. Over the past four decades, federal support for capital formation and capital access has shifted from a heavily subsidized system to one focused on leverage, credit enhancement, and the removal of financing barriers. Despite this migration to a risk-reduced approach, access to capital for numerous sectors – small business, entrepreneurs, manufacturing, clean energy, agriculture, rural infrastructure, urban revitalization – remains a significant challenge.
The ideas offered in this paper provide a roadmap for the Biden-Harris Administration to use development finance solutions for building back better. These recommendations have been carefully crafted to address the multiple, interconnected challenges facing the U.S. economy. They focus on four key policy considerations:
- Restore Local Economies
- Preserve Small Businesses
- Invest in Our Communities
- Protect Our Environment
CDFA is prepared to assist the Biden-Harris Administration with developing the recommendations and opportunities outlined in this paper. We believe enacting these development finance solutions will immediately unlock capital to fuel investment, create jobs, build infrastructure, and increase the quality of life for every American.
Development Finance Solutions for Building Back Better
View Press Release
Infrastructure Plan Proposed
Details of $2.2T American Jobs Plan
Biden Administration Proposes $2.2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
President Biden's American Jobs Plan
aims to spend approximately $2.25 trillion on infrastructure. Some of the key elements of the proposal that relate to development finance include:
View the Fact Sheet
- $621 billion for transportation infrastructure
- $20 billion to repair roads and bridges
- $85 billion to modernize public transit
- $80 billion for passenger and freight rail service
- Establish grant and incentive programs for building electric vehicle charging stations
- $25 billion to improve airports
- $17 billion to invest in inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries
- A total of $45 billion to redress historic inequities in transportation infrastructure
- $50 billion to improve the resiliency of infrastructure to natural disasters
- $111 billion for drinking water infrastructure
- $45 million for the EPA's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and in Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN) grants
- $56 billion for rural drinking water, wastewater, stormwater systems, rural clean water infrastructure, and to tackle new contaminants
- $100 billion for broadband and digital infrastructure
- $100 billion for energy infrastructure
- $5 billion for remediation and redevelopment of Brownfield and Superfund sites
- $27 billion to establish a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator
- $213 billion for affordable housing
- Targeted tax credits, formula funding, grants, and project-based rental assistance
- Pass the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) to offering $20 billion worth of NHIA tax credits over the next five years
- $40 billion to improve the infrastructure of the public housing system
- $100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools
- $50 billion leveraged through bonds
- $50 billion in direct grants
- $12 billion to invest in community college infrastructure
- $25 billion to upgrade child care facilities and increase the supply of child care in areas that need it
- $400 billion toward expanding access to quality, affordable home- or community-based care for aging relatives and people with disabilities
- $300 billion for manufacturing
- $31 billion in programs that give small businesses access to credit, venture capital, and R&D dollars
- $50 billion to create a new office at the Department of Commerce dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity and funding investments to support production of critical goods
- $20 billion in regional innovation hubs and a Community Revitalization Fund
- $52 billion to expand capital access in domestic manufacturers
- $5 billion for a new Rural Partnership Program to help rural regions and Tribal Nations create jobs and spur economic growth
- $100 billion in workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups and high school students
SSBCI Signed into Law
Details on the $10B Program
-CDFA Policy Agenda
Restore Local Economies
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed social and racial inequities and increasing income inequality in communities across the nation. In order to restore local economies, bedrock financing tools must be expanded and reformed to meet the needs of local governments to serve all residents and fuel local economic recovery. CDFA recommends:
- Reforming Manufacturing and Agricultural Bonds - Passing the Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act will update the tax code's private activity bond rules for Industrial Development Bonds and Agricultural Bonds.
- Creating Permanent Disaster Recovery Bonds - Create a permanent bond financing tool that can be accessed immediately after disaster strikes, and that can leverage private investment for longer-term redevelopment of essential infrastructure.
- Reinstating Advance Refundings - Tax-exempt advance refunding bonds were used by local governments to refinance existing debt at lower interest rates - until they were removed by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. State and local governments need a low-cost option for refinancing their debt.
Preserve Small Businesses
Preserve Small Businesses
Small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those that are owned by persons of color or those that are located in low-income neighborhoods. If enacted, several policies would assist in the preservation of small businesses through locally-driven financing initiatives. CDFA recommends:
- Reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative - Reauthorizing the SSBCI program is a practical, pragmatic, and proven solution for helping America’s small businesses access low-cost capital.
- Create Local Economy Preservation Funds (LEPFs) - LEPFs would allow states, cities or regions to establish holding trusts to acquire struggling, but viable, businesses that face closure, contraction or external acquisition during the crisis.
- Strengthen the SBA Microloan Program - Reform the SBA Microloan Program to meet the urgent lending needs of small businesses while addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority-owned businesses.
- Enact the RELIEF Act for Main Street - A Main Street Lending Program would provide funds to cities, counties, and states to seed and scale local small business relief funds that are flexible and can be tailored to meet local needs.
- Enact the Farming Support to States Act - Provide funding to state departments of agriculture to support food and agriculture systems, enabling states to tailor their responses to meet the needs of their unique food systems.
Invest in Our Communities
Invest in Our Communities
Strong communities require investments in disadvantaged areas and sustainable infrastructure projects. Partnerships between the federal, state, and local governments must also exist. There are numerous policies that, if enacted, would ensure steady investment in communities that need it the most. CDFA recommends:
- Reform Opportunity Zones - Conduct a thoughtful evaluation of how Opportunity Zones can be reformed to fulfill their promise of attracting long-term, patient capital to the places that need it most.
- Permanently Authorize the New Markets Tax Credit - The New Markets Tax Credit program should be made permanent, as it is a vital tool to drive investment into communities struggling with unemployment, high poverty, and overall disinvestment.
- Create Qualified Infrastructure Bonds - Qualified Infrastructure Bonds would allow municipalities to issue taxable bonds and receive a direct subsidy from the federal government equal to a percentage of the bond’s interest.
- Create an Infrastructure Pre-Development Fund - A federal Infrastructure Pre-Development Fund would address long-term financing gaps while catalyzing public-private partnerships to support resilient, community-led infrastructure projects.
- Create a Federal TIF Bond Guarantee Program - To overcome the challenge of issuing Tax Increment Finance (TIF) bonds, we advocate the creation of a federal bond credit enhancement program for bonds secured with revenue generated by a qualified TIF district.
- Permanently Authorize the EB-5 Program - Permanently authorize the EB-5 Program to continue its success as a catalyst for direct foreign investment in American job-generating projects.
Protect Our Environment
Climate change is rapidly accelerating and the wide-reaching impacts are being felt by all Americans. Several financing reforms must be immediately enacted in order to protect our environment and leave our planet in a better state for the future. CDFA recommends:
- Enact the Investing in Competitive Clean Energy Act - The Investing in Competitive Clean Energy (ICCE) Act would be an efficient means of attracting significant private investment to clean energy.
- Make the Investment and Production Tax Credits Permanent - The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) should be made permanent to ensure continued investment in clean, renewable energy technologies.
- Remove Volume Cap from Water and Sewer Bonds - Water and sewer private activity bonds should be removed from state volume cap requirements to allow for more water and sewer infrastructure projects to be financed by bonds than is currently possible.
- Create a Bond Category for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - The creation of a new Exempt Facility Bond category for vehicle recharging stations would complement existing federal programs by making bonds available for the rapid expansion of this type of clean energy infrastructure.
CDFA tracks economic development legislation in Congress. Below you can see legislation relevant to development finance in the current Congress. Click on a legislative item to see a brief summary and learn more about it.
-H.R. 1319 - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
View a Section-by-Section Summary
View the Final Text
View H.R. 1319 on Congress.gov
The American Rescue Plan is the Biden Administration's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. It includes a wide range of provisions related to economic development, including:|
- Reauthorization of SSBCI with $10 billion
- $219 billion for States, territories, and Tribal Governments
- $130 billion to Local Governments
- Modifications to the PPP and EIDL programs
- $7.25 billion in additional PPP funding
- $15 billion in additional EIDL funding
- Creates a $25 billion Restaurant Revitalizataion Fund at SBA
- Appropriates $3.6 billion to the USDA to support the food supply chain
- Appropriates $50 billion to FEMA
- Appropriates $3 billion to the EDA
- Provides $30 billion in Federal Transit Administration grants
- Provides $8 billion in relief for Airports
- $5 billion for homelessness assistance and supportive services
- $100 million for Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing
- $750 million for Housing Assistance for Native Americans
-S. 258 - Small Business Access to Capital Act
View S. 258 on Congress.gov
Learn More about SSBCI
|The Small Business Access to Capital Act – which Peters and Stabenow previously introduced in 2020 – builds on the initial program's success by providing $10 billion of new funding split into two categories: $5 billion in formula funds to all states and an additional $5 billion pool of competitive funding.|
-S. 831: EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2021
View S. 831 on Congress.gov
Full Text of S. 831
|Sign on to the Coalition to Save & Create Jobs (CSCJ) to support the future of EB-5. CSCJ is working with Congress to reauthorize EB-5 before the June 30, 2021 sunset date and to save the tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars in economic development funds that would be lost if the Program sunsets. Join the Coalition today or contact email@example.com for more information.|
- Reauthorizes the EB-5 Program through 2026
- Requires Regional Centers to provide annual statements to DHS and to their investors accounting for investor capital and certifying compliance with program requirements
- Requires Regional Centers to utilize a fund administrator or commission an independent annual audit to prevent the misuse of investor funds
- Provides additional protections for investors who were defrauded
- Seeks to address processing times by commissioning a fee study within a year of passage
-H.R. 1321 and S. 456 - New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021
-H.R. 848 - GREEN Act
- Extends the 30% ITC for solar and geothermal through the end of 2025, before beginning a phasedown
- The Section 179D energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction would increase from $1.80 to $3 per square foot starting in 2022
- Section 45L new energy-efficient home credit would be extended through 2026
- Extends the PTC for wind energy at the current level of 60% through the end of 2026
- Extends PTC for landfill gas, trash, qualified hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities
-H.R. 970 - Opportunity Zone Extension Act of 2021
View H.R. 970 on Congress.gov
- extends the Opportunity Zones elective period until December 31, 2028;
- extends the Opportunity Zones deferral period until December 31, 2028;
-S. 203 - Healthy Food Access for All Americans Act
- Create a 15% tax credit for new grocery store construction in a food desert
- Create a 10% tax credit for companies that retrofit an existing store’s healthy food section in a food desert
- Create a grant for 15% of construction costs for certified food banks that build new permanent structures in food deserts
- Create a grant for 10% of annual operating costs for nonprofit certified temporary access markets, such as farmers markets, mobile markets and some food banks, that operate in a food desert.
-S. 98 - Neighborhood Homes Investment Act
View S. 98 on Congress.gov
View the Full Text
- creates a federal tax credit that covers the cost between building or renovating a home in these areas and the price at which they can be sold;
- requires that homes constructed or revitalized under the program must be sold to homeowners making less than 140 percent of the area median income;
- The maximum credit amount is the lesser of 35% of total development costs (property acquisition plus construction and/or rehabilitation cost) or 80% of the national median home sale price;
- credits are awarded to project sponsors—developers, lenders, or local governments—through a competitive statewide application process administered by each state’s housing finance agency;
- State agencies would have annual allocation of either $6 per capita or $8 million, whichever is higher.
-H.R. 1799 - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension Act
- Extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by two months, through May 31, 2021
- Small businesses will have two additional months to submit an application for a PPP loan
- The SBA will have until June 30, 2021 to close any pending applications
-S.479 - LOCAL Infrastructure Act
-H.R. 5422 - The Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act (MAMBA)
Learn more about MAMBA
MAMBA modifies Small Issue Industrial Development Bonds and Agricultural Bonds by:
- Expanding the definition of “manufacturing facility”
- Eliminating restrictions on “directly related & ancillary facilities”
- Increasing the maximum IDB size limitation to $30 million
- Increasing the limitation on small issue bond proceeds for first-time farmers
- Repealing the separate dollar limitation on the use of small issue bond proceeds for depreciable property
- Modifying the definition of “substantial farmland”