Efforts by the Treasury Department aim to address barriers experienced by underserved households, businesses, and neighborhoods and to foster an economy that unleashes the economic potential of all Americans
WASHINGTON – Today, to commemorate the Juneteenth holiday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released a fact sheet detailing actions the Department has taken and their impact on Black households, businesses, and communities. Advancing equity for historically underserved people and places is a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and for the Treasury Department. The Treasury Department has delivered real results that aim to expand opportunities for all Americans to fully participate and compete in the 21st century economy.
When President Biden came into office just over two years ago, Black Americans were being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s health and economic impacts and were poised to face a significant setback. Over the past two and a half years, the Treasury Department’s work to center equity in its pandemic recovery efforts delivered real results and contributed to the most equitable recovery in recent history – creating a blueprint for equitable implementation of other Biden-Harris Administration priorities and initiatives.
Key Treasury Department Actions:
- Helping Black families remain homeowners: The reach of Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) resources to economically vulnerable and traditionally underserved homeowners exceeded prior federal mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention programs. As of December 2022, 57 percent of HAF assistance was delivered to very low-income homeowners, and 35 percent of HAF homeowners self-identified as Black.
- Helping Black families avoid eviction: The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program was the first-ever nationwide program aimed at preventing eviction through direct assistance to renters. As of December 2022, extremely low-income renters received close to two-thirds of ERA assistance, while Black families received 42 percent of assistance.
- Growing Black-owned businesses by expanding financing and technical assistance: The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) includes $2.5 billion in funding and incentive allocations to support the provision of capital to underserved businesses – with $1 billion of these funds to be awarded to the jurisdictions who are most successful in reaching underserved businesses. In addition, state participants are required to collect demographic data on the business owners receiving support through the program – including race and ethnicity – with the goal of providing transparency and accountability regarding who is served by the program.
- Investing in financial institutions with a track record of delivering capital to Black communities and businesses: Through the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP), the Treasury Department has invested $1.4 billion in Black-owned and Black-majority shareholder depository institutions. ECIP investments are predicted to increase lending in Black communities by nearly $80 billion over the next decade.
Additionally, the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) has prioritized community investment efforts to address credit needs and asset-building opportunities in low-income and financially underserved communities, including for Black borrowers and in predominately Black communities. In April, the CDFI Fund announced $1.73 billion of grant awards through the Equitable Recovery Program, which included many awards to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that have strong track records of lending to Black borrowers and in majority minority census tracts.
- Building the capacity of local governments to address systemic barriers to health, housing, and financial well-being for Black households: The Treasury Department prioritized equity in its spending guidelines for the American Rescue Plan’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF). A recent study found that many local governments used SLFRF resources to invest in projects that address the systemic health and economic challenges causing disparities in Black and low-income communities disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic.
- Increasing federal business with Black-owned companies:In the past two years, the dollar amount of contracts awarded by Treasury to Black-owned businesses increased by 60 percent. In FY 2022, the total amount Treasury awarded to Black-owned businesses was $188 million, which is about $75 million more than was awarded in FY 2020.
While significant progress has been made, much more remains. Among other initiatives, in the coming months, the Treasury Department will continue leading the implementation of key provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act, which will help create good-paying jobs and ensure all Americans benefit from the growth of the clean energy economy, particularly communities that have been left behind and harmed by pollution. As the Treasury Department continues to tackle both immediate and long-term structural challenges of the American economy, equity and racial justice will remain at the forefront of its work.