All applicants are subjected to a substantial programmatic and financial review.

The review process begins with CDFA’s internal review team determining whether the application meets the Threshold requirements.  Reviewers then complete a desk review of the application, a comprehensive underwriting of the applicant and their project, a review of the application’s adherence to CDFA’s Energy Policy, and a site visit to evaluate the proposed project.

Recommendations for funding will be based upon applicant’s goals, measurable objectives, activities, and needs. The internal review team assesses applicants using the framework below, and – based on this assessment – provides its assessments to the Investment Review Committee (IRC), composed of CDFA staff and non-recused Board Members. Recommendations for funding will then be made by the Investment Review Committee to CDFA’s full Board of Directors who determine final awarding decisions.

The following benchmarks will be used to evaluate applications:

Public Benefit and Public Purpose

  • Consistency with program objectives
  • How valuable/meaningful is the project to the target area and/or target population?
  • What is the degree of public accessibility of the project?
  • How much community support does the project have?
  • How is the project economically beneficial to the locality and/or state?
  • Realistic and documentable project outcomes


  • Does the applicant have the right skills, assets, and experience to successfully complete the proposed project?
  • Documented readiness to implement the project, including: completion of threshold requirements, feasible development work plan and budget, plan for timely completion, status of funding leverage (committed or pending), tax credit fundraising plan, sustainability of project.
  • Organization Capacity – previous experience, staff roles, board support, financial health.
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