Neighborhood Trust FCU Selected for Announcement
(February 28, 2008 – New York, NY) Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, a community development credit union (CDCU) serving the predominantly low-income and immigrant community of Washington Heights, recently hosted a press event launching America Saves Week, an effort aimed at encouraging more institutions and individuals to save, reduce debt, and build wealth.
Organized by the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute, an America Saves national partner, the press conference included remarks from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz; the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Robert V. Hess; Lisa Mensah, Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute; Justine Zinkin, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union; and Elvira de la Cruz, a member of Neighborhood Trust FCU.
“Saving is an integral part of achieving the American Dream,” said Lisa Mensah, “As a national partner of America Saves, the Aspen Institute is thrilled that the City of New York and organizations like Neighborhood Trust FCU are taking bold steps to encourage and facilitate savings. These efforts are putting the dream back within reach.”
Mensah, a longtime CDCU supporter and collaborator, is scheduled to present at the Federation’s upcoming 34th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved and 5th Latino Credit Union Conference, June 11-14, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Additional information about that event is available on their website at: www.cdcu.coop.
The two city agencies in attendance also discussed various programs their respective institutions have developed to help low-income New Yorkers reach their financial goals.
“This administration is working to make it easier and more appealing for families with low incomes to save their hard-earned dollars,” said DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “Through DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment, we’re targeting our resources and experimenting with innovative pilot programs that hold real promise for what New Yorkers can do to build for the future.”
| (Left to Right) NYC DHS Commissioner Robert V. Hess; Aspen Institute ISF Director Lisa Mensah; Neighborhood Trust FCU CEO Justine Zinkin; Neighborhood Trust FCU member Elvira de la Cruz; and NYC DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz.
DHS Commissioner Robert V. Hess described a program for families transitioning from shelter to permanent housing. “Work Advantage rewards clients for working and saving money,” said Hess. “It is vital for people to have an extra cushion when first moving into independent living. Work Advantage also focuses on self-reliance by providing clients with the tools and resources that are critical to their success.”
Justine Zinkin, Executive Director of Neighborhood Trust FCU, highlighted the importance of CDCUs in helping low-income New Yorkers save for the future, and credited members like Elvira de la Cruz, another speaker at the press conference, for their efforts.
“Opportunities to save, establish credit, and access capital are critical for families seeking to escape poverty. Neighborhood Trust is one of many community development credit unions in New York City committed to offering financial services tailored to the needs of low-income communities, coupled with comprehensive education and counseling supports,” said Zinkin.
“We are thrilled by the city’s proactive effort to promote savings, and we welcome the opportunity to develop new partnerships with city agencies to encourage savings and long-term wealth creation,” she added.
America Saves is a nationwide campaign involving over 90,000 enrolled Savers and 1,000 nonprofit groups, employers, financial institutions, and government agencies working at the local, state, or national levels. America Saves was launched in 2001 and the Consumer Federation of America provides overall management for the campaign. For more information on America Saves, please visit www.americasaves.org or www.aspenifs.org.
Neighborhood Trust FCU is a $7 million community development credit union (CDCU) chartered in 1997 which serves the predominantly Latino immigrant communities of West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood in New York City. Neighborhood Trust and its 501(c)3 nonprofit partner, Credit Where Credit Is Due, have been active participants in a dialogue with New York City on the CDCU’s role in reaching the unbanked, and the importance of providing financial education and counseling in tandem with credit union financial products and services.
© 2008 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.