On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, a coalition of Central New York Credit Unions landscaped a home in Syracuse’s Near West Side neighborhood to commemorate International Credit Union Week. The beautified home, located at 166 Grace Street in Syracuse, has been renovated by Home HeadQuarters, Inc. and will soon be sold to a low-to-moderate income, first-time homebuyer.
Home HeadQuarters acquired the Grace Street property for $1 from the City of Syracuse, as part of the City’s initiative to transfer abandoned, dilapidated, and tax-delinquent housing to private owner-investors. Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN) recommended the property to Home HeadQuarters after the City’s announcement. Home HeadQuarters has completely rehabilitated the house, including a new roof, bathroom, kitchen, and furnace; new siding, interior paint, windows, and doors; and new plumbing and electrical mechanicals.
The Credit Union Day Landscaping Party used volunteer power from Cooperative Federal, AmeriCU, ACMG, and Empower FCU to put the final touches on the property.
“Our annual Landscaping Party is just one example of the ‘People Helping People’ philosophy that defines the credit union movement. The current financial crisis demonstrates that, now more than ever, the credit union principles of responsibility, cooperation, and mutual aid are crucial our joint well-being,” said Ron Ehrenreich, Treasurer/CEO of Cooperative Federal and President of the Central New York Chapter of the Credit Union Association of New York.
"This property is a perfect example of what can happen when committed community stakeholders work together," said Kerry Quaglia, Home HeadQuarters Executive Director. "From SUN recommending the purchase, to the city's $1 housing program which made this purchase affordable, and now local credit unions volunteering to help us clean up and landscape the property, it's the best possible outcome for the entire neighborhood."
International Credit Union Week is a celebration of 46,000 Credit Unions worldwide and the “people helping people” philosophy embraced by their staff, volunteers, and members. Credit Unions are nonprofit, member-owned financial service cooperatives that provide effective and viable alternative to for-profit financial institutions for more than 177 million members in 96 countries worldwide. They exist to serve their members, providing a safe place to save money and access affordable loans. With democratic governance and a policy of reinvesting within their memberships, credit unions are recognized globally as effective agents of economic empowerment.
Home HeadQuarters, Inc., a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, is a not-for-profit dedicated to revitalizing and stabilizing neighborhoods in Central New York. Home HeadQuarters partners with credit unions and other organizations to make first-time homeownership a reality for low- and moderate-income families in Syracuse and Central New York. Learn more about Home HeadQuarters at www.homehq.org.