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NYCUA works with Inclusiv to help credit unions pursue CDFI, MDI designations

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

The New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) recently announced it has formed a new partnership with New York City–based organization called Inclusiv. 

The two advocacy organizations have agreed to work together to raise awareness about the benefits of credit unions becoming certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI), while providing important resources to New York credit unions that are interested in obtaining their CDFI certification or MDI designation. 

Through this new partnership, Inclusiv will become the official financial inclusion and community-development support center of NYCUA, per an April 28 news release. In that capacity, the two organizations will work together to provide training, guidance, and assistance to New York credit unions to increase participation in CDFI, MDI, and low-income programs. 

An area credit union says getting certified has provided it and its customers a boost.

“Becoming a CDFI in late 2019 is one of the best choices that we have made as an organization. We are the only Oswego County–based CDFI and we have been able to grant an average of 83% of all loans to our CDFI target markets and 70% of all loan dollars to our target markets over the past two years. That translates into nearly $35 million for our members residing in either low-income areas or investment areas of Oswego County. Those numbers make a difference to thousands of members,” Bill Carhart, CEO of Oswego County Federal Credit Union, said. “Inclusiv has played an instrumental part in our education and helping us navigate the grant opportunities that exist in the low-income credit union and CDFI worlds. Their dedicated staff has helped lead us down a path that will benefit our members for years to come and will lead to direct success for our organization.” 

About the relationship

For more than 100 years, NYCUA has served as the trade association for the state’s credit unions, which collectively hold more than $100 billion in assets and serve more than 6 million members. Albany–based NYCUA works to advance the interest of New York credit unions through its advocacy, education, unity, and support initiatives. NYCUA’s membership includes 17 CDFI, 42 MDI, and 150 low-income-designated credit unions.

Inclusiv is a CDFI intermediary and national network of nearly 400 community development credit unions (CDCUs) that works to help low- and moderate-income people and communities achieve financial independence through credit unions. 

Inclusiv specializes in supporting credit unions committed to financial inclusion and addressing racial equity. The Inclusiv network is comprised of CDFI certified, MDI designated, and low-income designated credit unions, with combined assets of $184 billion and serving near 14 million predominantly low-income, as well as minority consumers.

NYCUA is a longtime associate member of Inclusiv, and the two organizations have worked together for years on a variety of initiatives, including legislative advocacy, education, and Inclusiv’s Hispanic outreach program, Juntos Avanzamos. 

The relationship between the two organizations became more formalized after Congress passed its economic-stimulus bill in December 2020, which included $12 billion for CDFIs. Both Inclusiv and NYCUA strongly supported the appropriations measure and advocated for its passage.      

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