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CHICAGO-NCUA Board Member Debbie Matz told participants in Fannie Mae’s Credit Union Advisory Council that partnerships will aid the expansions of affordable mortgages to first-time buyers. In particular, first-time homebuyers “can benefit the most from credit union services.” She pointed out that less than 50% of minorities own their own homes and that is where “the greatest potential growth” lies. By the year 2020, the Latino population is expected to grow 75%; the African American population, 28%; while the white population is projected to grow just 9%. Matz highlighted The Summit Federal Credit Union, which partnered with the city of Rochester, local businesses and Fannie Mae to offer “Employer-Assisted Housing” to the underserved in the inner city. The credit union waives the $400 in mortgage fees and provides a credit equal to 1% of the principal, which can go toward down payment or closing costs. On top of that, the legal and appraisal partners discount their fees up to $250 per loan, and the city matches employers’ contributions up to $3,000. The Summit then turns around and sells the low-down-payment mortgages to Fannie Mae as part of its “My Community” program. The NCUA Board member also showcased the 32 New Hampshire credit unions, through local NeighborWorksr organizations, that have pledged $35 million to assist first-time homebuyers who don’t qualify for conventional mortgages. Matz directed attendees to PALS Best Practices Web site for more ideas. At www.ncua.gov, click on PALS then Best Practices. “Partnering with community organizations and select employee groups can revitalize underserved neighborhoods, expand homeownership, and help SEGs recruit and retain employees,” she explained. “Selling the loans to the secondary market reduces interest rate risk, while freeing up money to make even more affordable mortgages.” Matz is hosting a PALS mortgage workshop in Boston June 2, which will feature panels on “Helping More Members Realize the American Dream,” “Managing Mortgage Lending Risks,” and “Resources, Support and Partnering Opportunities.” “If more credit unions knew about these partnership opportunities,” she observed, “I believe more credit unions would be eager to get involved.” [email protected]

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