Latino credit union lands $5.5 million award

The Latino Community Credit Union in Durham is the winner of a $5.5 million award it plans to use to add three branches and increase the number of below-market mortgage loans it makes.

The nonprofit credit union, which was founded in 2002 in response to violence against Latino residents in North Carolina and now has over 42,000 members, was one of two winners of the Wachovia NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance.

ACCION Texas in San Antonio won a $2.75 million award that will allow it to extend its micro-lending and grow its business partnerships outside Texas.

The award for the Latino Community Credit Union includes a $500,000 grant from The Wachovia Foundation in Charlotte and a $5 million program-related investment from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.

The credit union, with branches in Durham, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro and Raleigh, plans to use the grant add branches in Winston-Salem and two other locations, and will use the program-related investment to make the mortgage loans.

In announcing the awards, presented at a ceremony in Miami, Wachovia said the credit union was the first multicultural institution in North Carolina to provide all its services in Spanish and English, without discriminating in pricing, and that is also serves African and European populations and has grown in partnership with the State Employees Federal Credit Union.

Assets of the credit union have grown to $54 million form $22 million two years ago, and should double again in three years, according to Luis Pastor, the credit union’s CEO.

Over five years, the Wachovia Foundation is making a $16.75 million grant over five years and the MacArthur Foundation is making a $25 million program-related investment to fund the annual awards, which the Opportunity Finance Network in Philadelphia is administering.

Also receiving awards of $25,000 each were four community development financial institutions – First Nations Oweesta Corp. in Rapid City, S.D.; ASI Federal Credit Union in Harahan, La.; Primary Care Development Corp. in New York City; and Ohio Capital Finance Corp. in Columbus, Ohio.

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