HOUSTON, Texas (4/3/08)--Neighborhood Centers Inc., a community economic development organization in Houston, has applied with the Texas Credit Union Department to charter a credit union in a predominantly Hispanic area in Southwest Houston. The field of membership will include the Neighborhood Centers association and three zip codes in the southwestern Houston area, James Deese, deputy commissioner of the Texas Credit Union Department, told News Now. “We received a letter from the Texas Credit Union Department that said our application is complete,” said Randy Martinez, director of credit union development with Neighborhood Centers Inc. He added his organization has committed a $500,000 equity grant to the project. “We now are working on a secondary capital plan that the National Credit Union Administration wants,” he said. “That is our last step in the process to get the charter started.” The purpose of the credit union will be to help residents looking for low-income depository services that they cannot obtain at traditional banks or credit unions, Martinez explained. The three-zip-code field of membership in Houston is about 50% Hispanic and constitutes people of 70 nationalities, Martinez said. The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions sent a letter of commitment to Neighborhood Centers, pledging $100,000 in non-member deposits to the project, Martinez said. Neighborhood Centers is meeting with Capital Bank of Dallas to try to secure a similar commitment, he added.