SYRACUSE, N.Y. (10/8/08)--Syracuse Cooperative FCU and Home HeadQuarters were selected as grant recipients under statewide efforts to fight foreclosure, New York Gov. David A. Paterson announced last week. The two Syracuse-based organizations, which operate independent foreclosure prevention programs, will use the funding to collaboratively expand their foreclosure counseling and advocacy services in the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County. The grant to the $14-million-asset Syracuse Cooperative FCU, in partnership with HomeHead Quarters, Inc., was one of nine grants awarded by the New York State Banking Department to central and upstate New York agencies. The two partners, which were the only Onondaga County agencies to receive an award from the banking department, will use the $100,000 grant to launch an outreach campaign, deliver counseling, provide affordable refinancing options, and help borrowers obtain work-outs with their lenders. Services will be provided in English and Spanish. Syracuse Cooperative FCU is a nonprofit, community development credit union that has been fostering local economic revitalization and financial empowerment since 1982. “The irresponsible practices of many lenders have led to tough times for hard-working homeowners in our region,” said Ron Ehrenreich, Syracuse Cooperative treasurer/CEO. “As a lender that puts people over profit, we are grateful for this opportunity to help resolve the crisis in cooperation with Gov. Patterson, the banking department, and our allies at Home HeadQuarters.” “This grant brings two organizations together that are both dedicated and experienced in dealing with foreclosure,” said Kerry Quaglia, Home HeadQuarters executive director. “We hope this can act as a foreclosure model, a foreclosure triage system, that all of Central New York can utilize in the near future.” Home HeadQuarters, a local, independent not-for-profit, is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America and the largest housing and community development organization in Central and Upstate New York. Both Syracuse Cooperative FCU and Home HeadQuarters are Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling organizations that provide education and individual counseling to first-time homebuyers, low-income families, and homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure. Syracuse Cooperative FCU also has received $202,825 in three homeownership grants from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF):
* A $75,000 NCUF grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services enables the credit union to open Individual Development Accounts for low-income tax filers who commit to saving for a down payment; * A $49,824 NCUF grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development enables the credit union to provide homeownership counseling to aspiring first-time homebuyers; * And a $25,000 NCUF Innovation Grant through the Community Investment Fund (CIF) helps the credit union increase access to innovative mortgage products and financing opportunities for low-wealth families.