BOULDER, Colo. – An ongoing project between a credit union and a local housing organization has received a boost in the form of a $150,000 grant from the National Credit Union Foundation. The grant will go to help support the work of the Alliance for the American Dream, the cooperative effort between Boulder-based Thistle Community Housing and the $657 million U of C Federal Credit Union. The Alliance is raising $2.5 million overall which, in turn, is being used to draw $100 million in private sector financing to provide more affordable housing in Boulder County. "As our housing market gets more severe the Alliance has been working in acquisitions and renovations to provide more affordable housing," explained Aarron Miripol, the executive director of the Alliance. "The Foundation grant was incredibly generous and will help us meet our goals." Founded at the end of 2002, the Alliance is more than $750,000 towards its $2.5 million goal, Miripol reported. That has allowed it to create roughly a third of the 1,000 homes that it expects to be able to fund. Miripol explained that the Alliance both purchased and renovated houses which credit union members would buy with a mortgage the CU provided and also purchased rental properties that it would rent at affordable prices. Most of the Alliance's support in its campaign so far has come from corporate sponsors and some banks, Miripol added. NCUF supporters pointed out that this program provides an example of the innovative things credit unions can do in the housing and community development fields. The Alliance goes far beyond traditional public funding sources for affordable housing," explains NCUF Chairwoman Mary Cunningham, president/CEO of USA Federal Credit Union in San Diego. "By tapping into funding from the private sector – including businesses, family foundations, and even individuals – the Alliance is well on its way to raising millions of dollars in equity." "This is an outstanding example of how an ambitious, well designed project can fulfill the goals of our Foundation's grant program," relates NCUF Executive Director Steve Delfin. "The project will engage proven partners, leverage new funds, build members' assets, improve the community, and make a tremendous impact, while fulfilling our mission to promote consumer financial independence through credit unions." [email protected]

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