Washington (AP) – The Federal Reserve will allow a much larger number of cities and counties to participate in a lending program that it announced earlier this month.

The program initially allowed only 10 cities and 16 counties to participate. It then came under criticism for leaving out many large metropolitan areas with heavy African-American populations.

But the Fed said Monday that it will open the program to cities with 250,000 people, and counties with 500,000, down from 1 million and 2 million, respectively. The program will also provide three-year loans, up from the two-year loans it previously announced.