Grant To Help New Orleans CU Revitalize Hurricane-Ravaged Neighborhood

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NEW ORLEANS -- ASI FCU, the community development credit union that was severally battered by Hurricane Katrina last year, received a $100,000 grant to help it build a community center for residents of New Orleans' Upper Ninth Ward, one of the worst hit neighborhoods by the storm. The grant was provided by the National Federation of CDCUs in an effort to help the revitalization of the badly damaged district. Just before the massive hurricane, ASI FCU planned to open a branch in the Ninth Ward, which would have been the only mainstream financial institution in the low-income district. After Katrina, which damaged all of the ward's homes, ASI, through its non-profit affiliate, A Shared Initiative, began buying homes that could be rehabilitated and sold to low-income homebuyers at deep discounts in the Ninth Ward. The Federation grant will go towards the purchase and renovation of the large warehouse in the Ninth Ward into a community center, which is projected to cost $500,000. The funding will come from the Federation's newly formed Community Development Relief and Rebuilding Fund, created after hurricanes Katrina and Rita to help low-income credit unions and their members recover from the massive disasters. The rebuilding fund has raised about $920,000 from various donors and committed about $400,000 to various rebuilding projects in New Orleans.

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