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
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
- Charge It Right, how to make a credit card work for you.
- Loan To Own, know what you're borrowing before you
- 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
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 feedbackif you are interested in Money
Smart, please contact Sonia
Klukas, Community Partnership Outreach Officer.
For more information, visit the following Web sites: