WASHINGTON — The National Credit Union Foundation's 12 Innovation Grant for 2009 will go to help charter the first Latino credit union in Ohio. The Foundation made the grant of $69,500 to the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and CU organizers working on the project.

According to the NCUF the grant, which is the 12 of 14 Innovation Grants it will make this year, will go to help charter the Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Community Credit Union as a state chartered CU. If the new charter is granted, it will mark the first time in 20 years that the state has chartered a credit union, according to the foundation.

As the state's first Latino credit union, Nueva Esperanza would reach a Latino population that has more than doubled since the 2000 Census. More than 50% of area households are classified as "low-income" or "extremely low-income." According to Ohio Credit Union Foundtion Executive Director Becky Hart, this points out the need within the community for basic financial services and affordable credit.

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