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Homeownership Month Brings Focus On CDCUs' Programs
NEW YORK (6/25/13)--The latest issue of The Bridge, the magazine of The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, celebrates June as National Homeownership Month.

The entire issue is devoted to the efforts of community development credit unions to provide affordable housing to underserved members.

"Bring the American Dream to the Underserved" shares the experiences of three credit union-sponsored, housing finance services: Marisol FCU, Phoenix; A Shared Initiative Inc., New Orleans; and Border FCU, Del Rio, Texas.

Marisol FCU established the Pay Yourself Mortgage that creates an escrow account for borrowers. Borrowers pay an amount equal to 75 basis points of the loan amount for five years. If after five years they have not defaulted on any payments, the money is used to pay down the mortgage.

Border FCU provides home equity loans, land loans and free counseling services. It also partners with several nonprofit organizations for down-payment assistance.

A Shared Initiative is a nonprofit initiative created by ASI FCU, Harahan, La., to more effectively administer the credit union's community development initiatives and combat post-Katrina economic distress in the New Orleans area. Among the services the organization offers is a first-time home buyers program.

Another article, "Manufactured Housing: Good for Your Customers, Good for Your Portfolio," describes the Corporation for Enterprise Development's (CFED) Innovations in Manufactured Homes initiative. The program is designed to recast manufactured housing as a viable asset and wealth-building tool.

"A recent report released by CFED reveals that manufactured home mortgages can perform as well as other mortgages, even when the mortgages are made to borrowers with relatively poor credit and small down payments," wrote Doug Ryan, CFED director of affordable homeownership.

The issue also includes, "Home Sweet Home: Success Stories from the Center for Financial Health (CFH)," a photo essay of families in Lansing, Mich., that have achieved their goal of buying or keeping a home.

The CFH is an affiliate of the federation's network of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselors. CFH works closely with the Michigan Credit Union League and several Michigan credit unions.
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