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2005 CCDO Application Kit and Training Workshop

2005 CCDO Conference Ad. Reserve your spot.

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Winter 2004 issue of In-Sites magazine, published by the Community Capacity Development Office (formerly Weed & Seed Office), Office Justice Programs (OJP)CCDO Home pageHomeLetter From the DirectorOJP SealLetter From the U.S. AttorneyPhotos representing weeding and seeding efforts: two police officers smiling at the camera, three individuals painting over graffiti on a wall, woman holding a potted plant.About In-SitesFind Past IssuesSubmit StoriesSubscribeNeighborhood Restoration - In This Section banner

FDIC Can Help You

When we hear the phrase "we're here to help" from the federal government, we all tend to be a little skeptical. The good news about the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is that it really can be of assistance to Weed and Seed sites. Here's how:

Community Affairs Program

FDIC's Community Affairs Program can support partnerships between bankers, community organizations, small businesses, and local governments and can even work with lenders and the public to revitalize communities. The program can work with financial institutions in Weed and Seed communities to identify community and economic development initiatives that promote financial services, affordable housing, small and microenterprise development, and financial education.

The Community Affairs Program is designed to get financial institutions more engaged in community outreach activities, increase bankers' and consumers' knowledge of Community Reinvestment Act regulations and fair lending practices, help financial institutions develop strategies to respond to credit needs, and foster positive banking relationships between consumers and financial institutions. Each of these objectives can be part of a thoughtful and comprehensive neighborhood restoration effort in a Weed and Seed site.

Weed and Seed neighborhoods often face special challenges in securing financing to support community housing and business development activities. Familiarity with the laws that protect consumers and communities from predatory or discriminatory lending practices is an important aspect of community economic development efforts in a Weed and Seed site.

Community affairs officers can work with sites on how to use the proactive aspects of these laws to revitalize designated neighborhoods. Examples of these laws include the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages investment in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits discrimination in any aspect of a consumer or commercial credit transaction; the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in all aspects of residential real estate transactions; and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, which prohibits discriminatory lending practices and promotes accountability. Weed and Seed sites can access regional FDIC community affairs officers by going to FDIC's Web site.

Money Smart: An Adult Financial Literacy Program

Money Smart is a free, comprehensive curriculum designed to help adults develop financial skills. Nationally, 10 percent of adults have no banking or credit history; in Weed and Seed sites, the percentage is likely to be even higher. Weed and Seed sites can strengthen their neighborhood restoration strategies by providing Money Smart workshops to Weed and Seed residents, particularly those who tend not to use banking institutions. Money Smart can be a component of a broader effort to move low-income families out of poverty by increasing their knowledge and understanding of and experience with financial institutions, credit issues, and banking services.

The 10 Money Smart workshops are—

  • Bank On It, an introduction to banking services.
  • Borrowing Basics, an introduction to credit.
  • Check It Out, how to choose and keep a checking account.
  • Money Matters, how to keep track of your money.
  • Pay Yourself First, why you should save, save, save.
  • Keep It Safe, your rights as a consumer.
  • To Your Credit, how your credit history will affect your credit future.
  • Charge It Right, how to make a credit card work for you.
  • Loan To Own, know what you're borrowing before you buy.
  • Your Own Home, what home ownership is all about.

To train trainers from Weed and Seed sites to provide the workshops locally, the Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) will provide Money Smart learning labs in 2005 at the Weed and Seed Grant Management Training event and the National Conference.

Free copies of the Money Smart program can be ordered online. Sites can sign up online for train-the-trainer opportunities before the CCDO conference in 2005.

CCDO encourages sites to include some type of financial education component for residents in combination with other complementary offerings such as volunteer income tax assistance centers and individual development accounts to promote asset development. A combination of these strategies has been shown to move families out of poverty and create increased neighborhood stability through increased home ownership and business development.

CCDO wants your feedback—if you are interested in Money Smart, please contact Sonia Klukas, Community Partnership Outreach Officer.

For more information, visit the following Web sites:

Fighting Poverty With a New Partner

Super Sites: A HUD/DOJ Public Housing Safety Initiative

FDIC Can Help You