PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- The U.S. Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's most recent round of awards included money for 12 credit unions, according to an announcement from the fund.
The fund made awards of almost $54.2 million to 89 organizations overall. According to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, roughly $5.4 million or about 10% of the money overall went to credit unions, including nine of its members.
The biggest credit union and credit union organization awardees included the $280 million ASI Federal Credit Union, headquartered in the New Orleans-area, the $66 million Latino Community Credit Union, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., and the federation itself.
Each of these participants received awards of at least $1 million. The federation said that its award will provide capital for a new mortgage refinancing product, 1st HELP (a home emergency loan product), to assist borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes.
"The federation's CDCU Mortgage Center LLC will purchase 1st HELP loans originated by community development credit unions and the federation's community development partner credit unions," the federation said in an announcement of the awards. "Loans eligible for purchase will offer more flexible underwriting criteria designed to help lower-wealth borrowers who have little or no equity refinance into a safe, affordable loan. The loans will be long-term, fixed-rate and fully amortizing with no predatory features or costs," the organization added.
"We're delighted that a significant number of credit unions received funding," Federation CEO Cliff Rosenthal said. "Assistance from the CDFI Fund has helped to drive much of the innovation and expansion in the CDCU movement. The funding pool for the coming year may be the largest we've seen in quite a while. So we encourage CDCUs to get certified and apply in advance of the October deadlines."
The CDFI Fund indicated that organizations filed 225 applications for funding, from which 89 awards were presented.
The CDFI Fund recently announced the next funding round. In order to apply for funding, certification applications must be received by Oct. 1. Applications for funding are due Oct. 29.
In addition to ASI and Latino, other credit union winners were Choices Federal Credit Union, St. Louis, which received $111,000; Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, N.Y., ($100,000); Episcopal Community Federal Credit Union, Los Angeles, ($39,024); Everyone's Federal Credit Union, Tocumcari, N.M., ($100,000); Faith Based Federal Credit Union, Oceanside Calif., ($220,000); North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Chicago, ($231,000); People's Community Federal Credit Union, Oakland, Calif., ($600,000); South Side Community Federal Credit Union, Chicago, ($350,000); West Oahu Community Federal Credit Union, Kapolei, Hawaii, ($77,000); West Point Federal Credit Union, West Point, Mont., ($600,000); and Eagle Louisiana Federal Credit Union, Baton Rouge, La., ($84,000).
The credit union awarded the grants planned to put them to a wide variety of uses, according to the fund.
Episcopal Community FCU will use its technical assistance grant to expand financial access for its 2,300 members through shared branching. The CU will also use its grant to train staff, develop marketing materials, engage a consultant to update policies and procedures, and purchase new computer equipment, the fund said.
West Oahu is an emerging CDFI serving the island of Oahu. The credit union will use its technical assistance grant to upgrade its outdated member telephone system and purchase computers for customer use and training, according to the fund.
The fund chose to announce its awards in Port Angeles, on the West Coast, because three of the recipients in the area have been working to support rural development.
"Port Angeles is a long way from the nation's capital, but we selected this location to make our FY 2008 national award announcement to highlight how CDFIs are successful at implementing innovative approaches to rural economic development," said CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell. "By embracing new traditions of sustainability and economic diversification, CDFIs are helping to map the future of rural revitalization and growth."