In the first quarter of 2015, the LSCU and the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation partnered with Suncoast Credit Union and CU Strategic Planning to begin Community Development across Florida. This initiative consisted of collecting data to find a group of well-positioned credit unions. The partnership then assisted with obtaining CDFI certification and applying for federal grant funds from the United States Treasury.
The grant program brought in 457 applications throughout the United States from community agencies and financial institutions. Of those applications, we are excited to announce that Florida credit unions received more than any other state’s credit unions – a total of $4,651,250 (almost 16 percent of all awards given to credit unions this year).
Twenty-one credit unions from 15 different states received grant awards, and three of these were from Florida. The next most successful year for Florida credit unions receiving CDFI grants was 2015 at $1,750,000 and then 2013, coming in just shy of $1,500,000. Congratulations to Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa (awarded $1,400,000), Guardians Credit Union in West Palm Beach (awarded $1,483,000), and Tallahassee-Leon Credit Union in Tallahassee (awarded $1,768,250).
Credit unions that receive the grants are able to provide additional resources, spend more time with members in need of counseling, and take greater risk lending to borrowers with scant or damaged credit histories. We encourage more credit unions to join us in expanding this initiative in 2017 throughout Florida, as well as Alabama. For more information, contact SECUF Director Juli Lewis at email@example.com.