From L to R: Alicia Portada of LESPFCU, Amarfis Olivares of WHEDco, a housing and economic development organization, and Ayasilis Nunez of LESPFCU. From L to R: Alicia Portada of LESPFCU; Amarfis Olivares of WHEDco, a housing and economic development organization; and Ayasilis Nunez of LESPFCU.

Seven banks closed 17 branches from 2018 to 2021 in the Bronx, which has the highest rates of unbanked and underbanked households, the lowest concentration of bank branches per household, and the highest percentage of Black and Latino residents (who are among the poorest people in New York City), according to the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD).

About half of the branch closures happened in 2020, the ANHD, an affordable housing advocate, recently reported. In response to these alarming trends, the Bronx Financial Access Coalition was organized, and it teamed up with the $86.1 million Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union to help low-income people who live in neighborhoods where branches have been replaced by check cashers and pawn shops.

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Peter Strozniak

 

Credit Union Times

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