National Credit Union Foundation Earns Record $1 Million HUD Grant
|Foundation Will Re-Grant Money to Credit Unions|
to Counsel Low-Income Consumers
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) has earned a record $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support homeownership counseling for consumers with low incomes.
The $1 million grant for Fiscal Year 2006 is a 43% increase over last year’s grant of $701,383. It’s the fourth straight year NCUF has been approved for a HUD grant.
“This $1 million grant will enable our Foundation to bring a record number of credit unions into the HUD homeownership counseling program,” explained NCUF Director of Program Development Ruth Jaure. “This is a vote of confidence from HUD in our Foundation’s ability to lead this program and in credit unions’ ability to provide a full range of counseling to the people who need it most.”
NCUF will use its grant money to underwrite costs of low-income counseling programs offered by 23 credit unions, including eight credit unions new to the HUD program. Together, these credit unions will leverage their NCUF grants into more than $5.5 million to support counseling and affordable homeownership.
New Credit Unions:
Arrowhead Central Credit Union, San Bernardino, Calif.
ASI Federal Credit Union, Harahan, La.
Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Brooklyn, N.Y.
District Government Employees Federal Credit Union, Washington, D.C.
Memphis Area Teachers’ Credit Union, Memphis, Tenn.
North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Chicago
Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union, West Lafayette, Ind.
SOFCU Community Credit Union, Grants Pass, Ore.
Continuing Credit Unions:
Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y.
El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO (eight credit unions in El Paso, Texas)
Financial Health Credit Union, East Lansing, Mich.
LA DOT Federal Credit Union, Baton Rouge, La.
OUR Federal Credit Union, Eugene, Ore.
Security 1st Federal Credit Union, McAllen, Texas
South Side Community Federal Credit Union, Chicago
Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, N.Y.
Over the next 12 months, these 23 credit unions plan to counsel 9,190 potential homebuyers, including 6,710 who earn less than 80% of their area median income.
“Our Foundation has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours of technical assistance to help credit unions make the most of their HUD grants,” Jaure related. “As a result, participating credit unions have counseled nearly 21,000 people over the past three years, and nearly 60% of the people we’ve helped have incomes under 80% of their area median income. We project these numbers to increase as more credit unions get involved.”
HUD funds flowing through the Foundation help start up and expand credit union counseling services from pre-purchase to post-occupancy. Counseling has proven successful in helping credit union members buy their first homes, avoid predatory mortgages, and prevent defaults.
The Foundation will provide technical assistance to all credit union sub-grantees. New credit unions will receive one-on-one assistance in HUD compliance and the homeownership program. As Jaure explained, “our Foundation’s role is not only to give credit unions money, but also to give credit unions opportunities to strengthen their membership.”