Credit union-related projects were selected for funding in five of 15 award grants made by the Treasury Department and administered by the National CU Foundation (NCUF). In all, some $3 million in First Accounts grants are being directed to credit unions. The projects NCUF will administer include the Affordable Housing CU Service Organization (AHCUSO) in El Paso, Texas; a New York State CU League Foundation project; and one by the Washington State CU League (which will administer a project in California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Washington). Latino Community CU, Durham, N.C., which received start-up funding from NCUF, was also awarded a grant to serve approximately 6,600.
The goal of the First Accounts program is to move a maximum number of unbanked low-and moderate-income individuals to a banked status with an insured depository institution, such as a credit union. The grants are designed to support projects to bring the unbanked into the financial mainstream by helping them open accounts at credit unions.
The NCUF's Executive Director, Gary Officer, said that the NCUF itself received $1.39 million to administer First Accounts projects that over the next two years will help credit unions reach more than 20,000 individuals.