Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners (formerly Credit Where Credit Is Due) was founded in 1994 in response to the growing financial disenfranchisement of Upper Manhattan.
Overwhelmingly low-income and Latino, Washington Heights comprises the largest concentration of Dominicans outside of the Dominican Republic. It is one of the most crowded urban landscapes in the nation, with 300,000 people living within three square miles, with consistent and rapid growth among the Hispanic population. It is also one of the most underserved communities in New York City. The median household income for Community District 12 (Washington Heights & Inwood) is $28,865, with 20% of households earning less than $10,000. 60% of households are headed by single women.
Since 1997, Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners' financial empowerment programs have provided members of our community with the skills to strengthen their financial status. The signature of our program model is our coordination with Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, a community development credit union (CDCU), and other community organizations so that financial education is delivered in tandem with other support services and offered as a real tool to helping achieve specific goals. Today Neighborhood Trust's financial education and counseling programs are in over 30 community organizations throughout New York City, reaching 3,000 individuals annually.
In 2007, Neighborhood Trust approved a new strategic plan to transform our organization into a citywide vehicle for wealth creation among low-income New Yorkers. Our goal is to capitalize on the strength of the community development credit union model and extend our reach to some of our city's poorest communities, and create a sustainable model for providing savings, credit and wealth-building opportunities.
We have now launched a major capital campaign to secure a new home for our work which accommodates an ambitious growth plan and enhances the visibility of our programs. In the coming two years we will:
- Implement a truly innovative financial education program model which proactively links participants to asset- and credit-building opportunities, and incorporates a longitudinal evaluation of our individual and community impact.
- Enable Neighborhood Trust to achieve sustainability through scale while offering the most effective financial options to its membership.
- Replicate our Neighborhood Trust partnership with our peer Community Development Credit Unions in communities like East and Central Harlem, the Lower East Side, Bushwick, and Bedford-Stuyvesant; and
- Achieve scale with our unique financial empowerment model, creating a program which is easily replicable throughout New York City.