Dear Manager and Board of Directors:
As part of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) “Access Across America” program, we are continuing to actively pursue and identify organizations and entities with which credit unions can partner in their efforts to create economic empowerment in the neighborhoods and communities they serve. In addition to numerous programs and opportunities provided by federal government departments and agencies, there are other government-sponsored and non-profit organizations that credit unions may wish to partner.
One such organization involved with community development efforts is the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NRC). The NRC is the cornerstone of the NeighborWorks System. The NRC is a congressionally chartered, public nonprofit corporation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and staffed in nine regional offices. The Board of the NRC consists of representatives from the five federal financial regulatory agencies as well as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. NCUA Board Member Deborah Matz represents the NCUA on the NRC Board.
The NRC has five core activities:
- Chartering new NeighborWorks organizations through an extensive educational and partnership-building effort, involving residents, business leaders and government representatives.
- Providing funding for capital projects and operating grants to NeighborWorks organizations, enabling them to create and build their own community revitalization initiatives from a solid asset base.
- Providing management and technical assistance to NeighborWorks members and the broader community development field, in order to expand their delivery programs and better serve their communities.
- Conducting extensive reviews of NeighborWorks organizations, focusing on their capacity to successfully manage their resources and programmatic risks, with the intent of increasing the health, performance, productivity, and effectiveness of the entire NeighborWorks network.
- Conducting national training institutes in major cities throughout the country for anyone interested in affordable housing and community revitalization, particularly private and public-sector practitioners and community leaders.
The NeighborWorks network was founded by NRC and is a network of community-based non-profits that has evolved from 34 organizations operating in a dozen states in the 1970s to 225-member network working today in more than 2,000 communities – from the largest cities to some of the smallest rural communities. These NeighborWorks organizations function as partnerships of local residents, lenders and other business leaders, and local government representatives. They produce creative strategies, share best practices, and develop flexible financing mechanisms.
The Neighborhood Housing Services of America (NHSA) is a secondary market for a range of investment vehicles originated by NeighborWorks organizations. The NHSA is funded primarily by social investors that purchase loans made by NeighborWorksâ organizations, thus replenishing their revolving loan funds and enabling them to finance more homeownership rehabilitation and multi-family housing.
Credit unions may wish to pursue partnerships with the 225 network members through the following areas:
For credit unions that have expanded into underserved areas:
- Partnering of credit unions and NeighborWorks organizations to provide members:
- Wealth-building opportunities for down payments;
- Financial literacy training;
- Loans for down payments and closing costs; and/or
- Mortgage and home improvement loans.
For low-income designated and small credit unions:
- Obtaining training from NRC for managerial, operational, and financial development.
- Partnering of credit unions and NeighborWorks organizations to:
- Guide credit union members to these organizations for unconventional home improvement and mortgage loans;
- Guide individuals involved with the NeighborWorks organizations to low-income credit unions for financial services; and/or
- Share operational/managerial support.
Through relationships with organizations such as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, credit unions can augment the financial services provided to their current members while facilitating expansions into all segments of their fields of membership.
For additional information regarding the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, contact NCUA’s Office of Credit Union Development at 703-518-6610 or visit www.accessacrossamerica.gov/resources.html.