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WASHINGTON – Thirteen home ownership counseling programs underwritten by 21 credit unions will receive part of a $701,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development which they applied for through the National Credit Union Foundation. “This grant reinforces credit unions’ commitment to helping people of modest means build wealth,” confirmed Ruth Jaure, NCUF Director of Program Development. “Our Foundation will use these funds to expand credit unions’ ability to provide a full range of homeownership counseling, from pre-purchase to post-occupancy. These innovative counseling programs have proven successful in helping credit union members buy their first homes, afford needed improvements, and prevent defaults.” The participating programs are the Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, N.Y.; Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas; Cincinnati Central CU, Cincinnati, Ohio; CU Housing Partnership (GTE FCU and Suncoast Schools FCU, Tampa, Fla.); El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO (eight CUs in El Paso, Texas); First Choice Credit Union, Atlanta, Ga.; LA DOT Federal Credit Union, Denham Springs, La; Opportunities Credit Union, Burlington, Vt.; OUR Federal Credit Union, Eugene, Ore.; Security 1st Federal Credit Union, McAllen, Texas; South Side Community Credit Union, Chicago; Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Syracuse, N.Y.; and WCTA Federal Credit Union, Sodus, N.Y. Program leaders from each of these credit unions are attending orientation sessions this week in Madison, Wis., with all expenses paid by the Foundation. One of the key sessions conducted by outside counseling and mortgage experts will focus on “What Consumers Should Know to Become Homeowners.” As Jaure explained, “We are taking this opportunity to help credit unions increase their expertise in housing counseling as well as in federal grants management.”

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