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ROCHESTER, N.Y.-In her keynote address at the NCUA PALS workshop held here Oct. 11, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced the creation of a new program to help credit unions serve the underserved. Called the New York Credit Union Loan Fund for Underserved Neighborhoods, the program will have two parts: * $100 million for home mortgages in underserved areas of New York state * $2 million for short-term loans of up to $500 available to renters with emergency situations, such as the need to pay utility bills to avoid losing service Together, the funds are expected to assist 6,000 households in underserved areas. “We want to make sure everybody gets the chance to reach for the American Dream of home ownership,” Sen. Clinton said. Five credit unions kicked off the initiative, committing nearly $30 million for both segments of the loan fund: Bethpage FCU ($10.25 million); SEFCU ($10.25 million); Xerox FCU ($5.125 million); The Summit FCU ($2.075 million); and First Source FCU ($550,000) According to Mike Vadala, president and CEO of the Summit FCU, the program is modeled after a similar initiative undertaken in New Hampshire. Additional pledges will be sought from other credit unions around the state, as well as input on how loans should be distributed. Suggested levels of participation are relative to asset size. “It’s a chance to help the poorest people in the direst of circumstances,” Vadala said. “It’s also a chance to help them establish good credit.” [email protected]

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