Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners (formerly Credit Where Credit Is Due) was founded in 1994 in response to the growing financial disenfranchisement of Upper Manhattan. Washington Heights in particular represented the challenges facing the Latino immigrant community, striving for financial mobility, but waylaid by structural barriers to wealth creation and the perils of a ubiquitous fringe banking industry grown up to fill the financial services void.
Overwhelmingly low-income and Latino, Washington Heights comprises the largest concentration of Dominicans outside 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. Sixty percent of households are headed by single women.
Since 1997, Neighborhood Trust's financial education programs have provided our community with the skills to strengthen their financial status. The signature of our program model is our coordination with Neighborhood Trust, 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 nearly 6,000 individuals annually.
In 2012, Neighborhood Trust approved a new strategic plan to transform our organization into a national vehicle for wealth creation among low-income Americans. Our goal is to capitalize on the strength of the community development credit union model to extend our reach to some of our city's poorest communities, and create a sustainable model for providing savings, credit and wealth-building opportunities.