Providing Affordable Housing Good For Credit Unions
BOSTON - Partnering with local non-profits to provide affordable housing can help a credit union as well as its local community, a community development leader and credit union executive told an audience at NAFCU's annual conference. In the eight years since it began working with a local non-profit group to loan money to residents needing affordable housing in San Antonio, Texas, the $1.5 billion San Antonio Credit Union has made 206 loans for affordable housing in the community, according to Edward Riojas, senior vice president of the credit union. Of those loans, Riojas reported, none have gone bad and 18 have been paid off. "We have found the arrangement [with the non-profit] has been very good for us," Riojas reported, "even though we finance 100% of the loan, which many in the mortgage business would not do." Riojas reported that the credit union found it more useful to "leave the homeowner with a few dollars to help meet unexpected circumstances" than to take all their savings for a down payment. NCUA Board Chairman Dennis Dollar visited some of the homes financed by the credit union in March of 2002. Ellen Lazar, executive director of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation told the audience about her organization's network of similar groups around the country.