ASI FCU Revitalizes Hurricane-RavagedNeighborhood

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NEW ORLEANS - (07/25/06) -- ASI FCU, the community developmentcredit union that was severally battered by Hurricane Katrina lastyear, received a $100,000 grant to help it build a community centerfor residents of New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward, one of the worsthit neighborhoods by the storm. The grant was provided by theNational Federation of CDCUs in an effort to help therevitalization of the badly damaged district, the Federation saidMonday. Just before the massive hurricane, ASI FCU planned to opena branch in the Ninth Ward, which would have been the onlymainstream financial institution in the low-income district. AfterKatrina, which damaged all of the ward's homes, ASI, through itsnon-profit affiliate, A Shared Initiative, began buying homes thatcould be rehabilitated and sold to low-income homebuyers at deepdiscounts in the Ninth Ward. The Federation grant will go towardsthe purchase and renovation of the large warehouse in the NinthWard into a community center, which is projected to cost $500,000.The funding will come from the Federation's newly formed CommunityDevelopment Relief and Rebuilding Fund, created after hurricanesKatrina and Rita to help low-income credit unions and their membersrecover from the massive disasters. The rebuilding fund has raisedabout $920,000 from various donors and committed about $400,000 tovarious rebuilding projects in New Orleans.

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