Member-funded credit unions have a strong capacity to positively impact the community, not only in providing lower cost financial services, but also in providing funding for programs that respond to community needs. An example of a state credit union that is pushing the boundaries of impact in housing: the State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) Foundation of North Carolina, which recently announced a new investment of $10 million over a three-year period to build or renovate a home in every one of the state's 100 counties.
For over a decade, the SECU Foundation has been supporting community development projects through the funding of large-scale initiatives. Focusing on the core areas of education, housing, healthcare and human services, the foundation seeks to make a tangible impact on the social and economic well-being of citizens and communities statewide.
SECU Foundation has launched some unique projects for housing in the state, including contributing $1 million in funding to create the SECU Hospice House in 2013, the first inpatient hospice facility in a six-county area of the state. It also provided $1 million in funding in 2014 to create the SECU Community House in Chapel Hill, an interfaith facility that provides transitional housing for men in the region.
On this new initiative, SECU will be collaborating with Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina (HHNC). The two parties recently signed an agreement which includes developing an implementation plan by the end of May 2015. The partnership is a first step in HHNC expanding its reach and starting housing projects in areas that Habitat has not served before.
State credit unions are good sources to consider for funding for community initiatives in housing. The National Credit Union Foundation is a great resource for looking into funding from credit unions, offering a map tool that provides state-by-state contact and program information for the nation's credit unions.
Housing is one of the core issues of community stability, and it's also an area in need of more support during the nation's recovery from the financial meltdown of 2008. SECU is showing itself as a leader in community-building as a foundation that invests well in programs that have a practical and tangible benefits for those in need.