(April 18, 2006 – Brooklyn, NY) Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, the youngest community development credit union (CDCU) in New York, celebrated its recent move into expanded quarters today with an enthusiastic crowd of friends and supporters. Brooklyn Cooperative FCU was chartered in 2000 and serves over 2,600 residents of Brooklyn’s primarily low-income Bushwick community.
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York was on hand to praise the work of the credit union, which offers affordable financial services to the community, and which reported great success with their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, which assisted members of the community to save over $1.8 million in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds this year alone.
Rep. Velazquez also acknowledged the difficulties the credit union faces daily while serving residents of a neighborhood where roughly 38 percent of all households live below the poverty line, but she also offered a gift of hope, presenting the credit union with a check for $253,440 from the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
The CDFI Fund award will allow the credit union to increase their microenterprise and mortgage loan portfolios and to expand into the adjacent neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, another low-income and underserved community.
“Brooklyn Cooperative FCU is New York’s newest CDCU, and one of a select group of new credit unions chartered anywhere in the United States over the last five years,” explained Cliff Rosenthal, Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation). “What’s remarkable is the extent to which they’ve been able to grow their membership and build a network of partnerships that enables them do more than most credit unions their size. We’re proud to have assisted and invested in Brooklyn Cooperative FCU throughout its five-year history.”
The event brought together credit union members; representatives from local community organizations; and funders and supporters, including Citigroup, the Empire State Development Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Federation, North Fork Bank, and others.
For more information about Brooklyn Cooperative FCU, please visit their website: www.brooklyn.coop.
|Congresswoman Velazquez presents Brooklyn Cooperative FCU CEO Jack Lawson with a check for $253,440 from the Treasury Department's CDFI Fund.
||Rep. Velazquez helps building owner Kathleen Ford during the ribbon cutting ceremony.