Native American Bank has released its annual report, highlighting its financial condition and innovative new partnerships to benefit tribal economies and tribal members. "As we look to the future, having purchased a building in Denver to move our headquarters into, we are laying the groundwork to better serve our constituents, create a unique presence and build on our accomplishments," said CEO Tom Ogaard.
Enterprise, together with Elevate Energy, has released a case study of the Chicago Water-Efficiency Pilot: in 2016, a water-efficiency specialist visited 14 affordable housing properties across the Chicago region, providing recommendations to organizational decision-makers, along with light training and procedural recommendations for maintenance staff. Findings from the pilot suggest that affordable housing providers can benefit greatly from comprehensive water-efficiency improvements, including usage monitoring, leak repair, and upgrades or replacement of inefficient shower heads, toilets and other fixtures and appliances. Based on the pilot’s limited sample, implementing the recommended upgrades and repairs would save about 22 percent in water and sewer charges, or more than $20,500 per property over five years.
Ashoka and BNY Mellon are hosting a Changemaker Challenge–a national social innovation competition–to uncover innovations that expand financial security of underserved communities, empowering everyone to be the drivers of their own financial wellbeing, resilience, and freedom. In a moment when six out of ten Americans will experience financial insecurity, families find themselves struggling to pay rent, afford healthcare, and cover their bills at the end of each month. Financial struggles leave entire communities without the opportunity and agency to plan for their futures and reach their goals. Times of joy—going to college, buying a home, raising children—have become sources of anxiety for too many. While saving money can be a challenge for a variety of reasons, the inability to build a strong financial foundation is often a symptom of a greater, systemic problem. Now, BNY Mellon and Ashoka are launching a collaborative effort aimed at addressing the root causes of financial inequality through innovation—the Unlocking Change Challenge.
The recently released Recission Package by the Trump Administration would claw back federal funds previously approved by Congress that promote private investment in low-income communities. The package freezes the release of over $15 billion in funding already appropriated in the FY2017 budget, including $22.8 million in funding for the U.S. Treasury's Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program and $151.3 million for the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF). “The elimination of the BEA Awards would curtail these initiatives, and have a detrimental effect on the economic stability of the regions they serve,” said Jeannine Jacokes, CEO of the Community Development Bankers Association.
This week, President Trump sent a rescission package proposal to Congress that calls for stripping more than $15 billion in previously approved spending, including funding for the CDFI Fund's Bank Enterprise Awards and Capital Magnet Fund Programs. Click here to read the CDBA press release. These programs provide incentives for banks to lend and invest in high-poverty and high-unemployment communities. They have played a crucial role in increasing the flow of capital to distressed areas and stimulating exponential private investment in CDFIs, thereby accelerating business growth, generating jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods, increasing the availability and affordability of housing, and improving access to financial services in communities that have been left behind. Congress has 45 days to either approve or dismiss the proposed rescissions.
Carver Federal Savings Bank hosted a grand re-opening celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Crown Heights location in Brooklyn, New York on April 19. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) was present at the ceremony. Completing the festivities, The new branch manager, on behalf of the bank, presented a $20,000 check to Wilchfort to benefit the Childrens' Museum. The 70-year-old minority-owned bank now has nine full-service branches in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.
The Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corporation dedicated the Joseph Haskins, Jr. Center for Community and Economic Development on Thursday. The center, named for the bank’s founder, chairman, president and CEO, will offer several programs designed to address Baltimore entrepreneurs’ need for access to financial and social capital, as well as technical assistance, to help them grow. It also will provide entrepreneurs low-cost office space and access to resources, networks and other amenities. While the center serves all Baltimore communities, it will emphasize job creation in disinvested and low- to moderate-income areas.
Virginia Community Capital has received a $1.5 million investment from Robins Foundation, a private family foundation with a 60-year history of leading transformational change in the greater Richmond region through innovative philanthropy. The investment will be directed toward development of affordable housing and projects that support a better quality of life for residents. The commitment includes directing $1.25 million into a LION Note (Local Impact Opportunity Note) with VCC and opening a $250,000 impact deposit account with its banking subsidiary, VCC Bank. “Robins and other institutions are leading innovative investment strategies to positively impact their communities,” said Jane Henderson, CEO of VCC. “Combining impact investing and philanthropy to tackle economic challenges in this region is groundbreaking, and Robins is demonstrating how to leverage the full range of foundation assets for greater community impact.”
American Samoa is finally getting its own full-service bank, and successfully creating only the second public bank in the United States. The Federal Reserve is allowing the Territorial Bank of American Samoa access to the U.S. payments system nearly two years after the bank applied. The decision is a boon to the remote U.S. territory in the South Pacific, where more than half of the households are at, near or below the federal poverty level. It is also a significant development for those far away from American Samoa. The chartering of a new public bank may provide momentum for similar efforts elsewhere. The only still operating public bank in the U.S., the Bank of North Dakota, was created a century ago. States like New Jersey and cities like Seattle and San Francisco are receptive to the idea of forming new public banks as a way to help the local economy.
A new report shows that despite strong job growth since the end of the Great Recession, many working families are worse off that they were in 2007, before the Great Recession began. The latest U.S. Census data shows that three out of every 10 working families were low-income in 2016. In addition, income and wealth gaps between working families at the top and bottom of the economic ladder remain at all-time highs. The report, produced jointly by PRB and The Working Poor Families Project, also found disturbing growing inequality among racial and ethnic groups.