(December 1, 2006 – Alexandria, VA) In a ceremony at the historic Shiloh Baptist Church that was attended by top credit union dignitaries, the $1.2-million Shiloh of Alexandria FCU announced its participation as the first credit union lender in an affordable mortgage program of the Virginia Housing Development Agency. Working with the CU National Mortgage company, the credit union will originate reduced-rate mortgages without a requirement for private mortgage insurance.
Notwithstanding its small size, the faith-based credit union, which is almost entirely volunteer-run, has worked aggressively since its earliest days in 1993 to make housing affordable to its members. Making the loans sometimes required extensive, complex partnerships, and as manager John Dupree, Jr. put it, “It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a city to do some of our mortgages.”
The credit union has a deep commitment to serving the most hard-pressed members of the community. The credit unions has made special efforts to assist former addicts, pregnant teens, and other community members with special needs, sometimes working with them for three or four years to help them become credit-worthy. “We think more philosophically,” said Dupree. “It’s about helping people to have a life, to have a good life.” Dupree is especially pleased with the new program, which means that it will have less need to refer its members in need of financing to banks.
Cliff Rosenthal, Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, spoke of the inspiring audacity of Shiloh of Alexandria FCU, which never shied away from a challenge in the interests of serving its members.
The Federation has provided both investments and grant funding to the credit union since its early days. “The Federation had faith in us from the very beginning,” said Dupree.
Speakers at the event included NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and board member Gigi Hyland. During her remarks, Chairman Johnson praised the credit union’s homeownership and financial counseling efforts, as well as its Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).
Fred Becker, President and CEO of NAFCU, also commended the credit union for its vision. “What is most inspiring is that Shiloh is doing almost everything that Navy FCU is doing.” Navy FCU, the world’s largest credit union, is a member of the Federation’s Community Development Partner initiative and a frequent supporter of CDCUs.
“For thirteen years, God has blessed us,” concluded John Dupree, Sr., who helped organize the credit union and has served as a volunteer for many years. Shiloh of Alexandria FCU continues to pass that blessing on to its community in many ways.