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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CACLV Recognized by Nat'l Community Reinvestment Coalition

The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) was honored last Friday by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition for its work in promoting fair and equal access to credit and capital. CACLV Executive Director Alan L. Jennings accepted the award from Reverend Jesse Jackson and, for once, he looks speechless.

NCRC’s National Achievement Awards are given to individuals and organizations revered as leaders in expanding financial access for working families and communities. Nominations for these awards are invited from NCRC members across the country and, after a thorough review process, the most deserving are selected to be honored with awards in their respective category.

CACLV and its three community development subsidiaries - the Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown, the Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem and The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund - have a wide array of initiatives that have distinguished themselves for promoting “fair and equal access to credit and capital,” including the following:

Providing entrepreneurial training and technical assistance to hundreds of microenterprises;

Making $1.4 million in microloans to nearly 70 borrowers, only four of which have been written off totaling less than $40,000;

Creating neighborhood partnership programs in Allentown (Allentown Neighborhood Development Alliance), Bethlehem (Southside Vision 2014) and Easton (West Ward Neighborhood Partnership) that have brought more than $7 million in private grants and leveraged millions more in government grants to the poorest neighborhoods in those cities;

Convincing Lehigh and Northampton counties to establish Housing Trust Funds by increasing recording fees on deeds and mortgages, generating more than $500,000 per year over roughly 20 years for affordable housing projects;

Organizing campaigns to generate more than $60 million for parks, farmland and open space through the Green Future Fund, with more $15 million available for urban municipalities;

Negotiating four community reinvestment commitments with banks as part of mergers that resulted in more than $500 million for urban communities and low- to moderate-income residents, including mortgage and community development lending, protecting urban branches from closure;

Raising over $750,000 from suburban municipalities for urban homeless shelters.

In receiving the award on behalf of the agency, Jennings told the 300+ people in the audience, “Our communities are being devastated, we are falling further and further behind. Whether it is our anger, our compassion, our pride or our faith that drives us, we all just have to keep finding motivation to fight back every day.”

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development and vibrant communities for America’s working families.


Anonymous said...

What a joke. Community reinvestment is how we collapsed the economy when its morality of good intentions smashed into the law of unintended consequences. It's akin to presenting an award to the crew of the Titanic as they balance perilously on one of the life rafts.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Alan and CACLV. They are real assets to our community.