CHICAGO, Mar 04, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
The Coalition for Community Banking, which formed on Chicago's west side
and near west suburbs in response to the closing of its community bank,
has joined in partnership with U.S. Bank. This partnership will include
a comprehensive set of initiatives to ensure continued and enhanced
community banking services and reinvestment in communities previously
served by the Park National Bank.
Richard Hartnack, vice chairman of consumer banking and small business
at U.S. Bank, said, "U.S. Bank had a small presence in these communities
before the acquisition of Park National Bank, and now that our presence
has expanded, we are committed to also growing as a community partner
for the west side and near west suburbs. Our partnership with the
Coalition for Community Banking will provide the capital and critical
financial support that these communities need to rebound from the
recession and foreclosure crisis."
Coalition co-founder and leader of the Westside Federation, Reverend
Randall Harris, said, "We are gratified to reach this accord with U.S.
Bank after holding a real dialogue. We have found ways to be real
partners and bring hope and stability to our communities."
U.S. Bank and the Coalition are launching an innovative initiative
designed to help local nonprofit developers revitalize neighborhoods hit
hardest by the foreclosure crisis. The "Community Restoration Fund,"
announced today, is a unique program designed to provide capital to
smaller, nonprofit developers working on the west side and near west
suburbs to enable them to purchase, rehabilitate and resell foreclosed
properties to qualified borrowers. U.S. Bank will also provide mortgage
loans to the buyers from the communities to purchase the homes that the
local nonprofit market.
U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (7th Congressional District), who supported
the formation and advocacy of the Coalition from its inception in
November 2009, praised the partnership stating, "We all recognize that
efforts to stabilize our communities in the face of the recent
foreclosure epidemic have fallen short. With this new community banking
partnership, we will break new ground in developing solutions to reclaim
the vacant homes now blighting our neighborhoods and put families back
into decent housing."
As a companion to the Community Restoration Fund, U.S. Bank and the
Coalition also crafted a Community Benefits Agreement. This agreement
provides further support to neighborhoods in need including:
Commitment of a financial support for affordable housing and community
economic development in Chicagoland, with specific support to
Chicago's west side neighborhoods (Austin, Garfield Park, North
Lawndale) and the near west suburbs (primarily Maywood).
Commitment to work with local nonprofit organizations engaged in
workforce development and job placement, to link qualified community
residents with employment opportunities with the Bank.
A progressive partnership to assist housing counselors in identifying
servicers for foreclosed properties.
Mortgage modification events, with the first of these events on March
18-19th at the Maywood Community Center. The U.S. Bank-Coalition
partnership is planning the event, targeted to distressed homeowners
from the west side and near west suburbs. Other servicers will be
invited, and U.S. Bank's loss mitigation team will be on hand, to
assist distressed homeowners behind on their payments.
Commitment to a "second look" process for small business loan
applicants that may have been turned down and options to ensure all
alternatives for a business are considered.
Joint efforts to increase low-moderate-income families' access to
credit and financial services at affordable rates.
"It's been a long journey," declared Jacqueline Reed of the Austin
neighborhood's Westside Health Authority, "considering we started out on
Capitol Hill, at a Congressional Hearing expressing our distress about
the loss of a great community bank. U.S. Bank stepped up and honored the
prior community investment commitments made by Park National. Today we
stand here as partners, looking forward to the work we will do together
to revitalize our communities."
Bob Vondrasek of the South Austin Coalition, another co-founder of the
Coalition for Community Banking, said, "U.S. Bank's commitments
announced today send a powerful signal to other banks and mortgage
servicers. We're already working on bringing other major banks to the
table to join this partnership and at least match what U.S. Bank has
pledged to do."
Lisa Glover, senior vice president and director of U.S. Bank community
affairs, added that U.S. Bank and the Coalition will work together to
coordinate and expand existing community programs that promote financial
literacy and foreclosure prevention, with an added special focus on
pre-purchase counseling and credit repair services for the families
hoping to buy houses reclaimed through the Community Restoration Fund.
"This holistic and coordinated approach will advance the economic
well-being of Chicago's west side and near west suburban communities."
Sarah Lira of Maywood's Housing Helpers, and Chair of the Coalition's
Foreclosure Committee added, "We are thrilled that the first Mortgage
Modification Fair will be in Maywood, and we're working hard to reach
people from our neighboring Chicago's west side communities to come to
the event. We all want stable, healthy communities."
The Coalition for Community Banking
The Coalition for Community Banking formed spontaneously as the
"Coalition to Save Community Banking" in a grassroots groundswell after
the FDIC seized Park National Bank and its deposits and assets were
acquired by U.S. Bancorp. The Coalition is a diverse alliance of
community, faith-based, and business groups from Chicago's west side
neighborhoods (Austin, Garfield Park and North Lawndale) and the near
west suburbs of Oak Park and Maywood. The Coalition is dedicated to
promoting access to affordable credit and quality financial services for
low-income families and communities and small businesses; and to
advocating for significant community reinvestment to revive our
neighborhoods' "Main Street" economy and housing in the wake of the
Recession and mortgage foreclosure crisis. For more information please
contact the Coalition's Communications Coordinator, Pastor Cathy Palmer
at: 312-543-6430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $308 billion in assets as of Dec. 31,
2010, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial
bank in the United States. The company operates 3,031 banking offices in
24 states and 5,310 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking,
brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services
products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp
on the web at www.usbank.com
SOURCE: U.S. Bank
The Coalition for Community Banking
Rev. Randall Harris, 773-852-9354
Morris Reed, 773-354-2841
Sarah Lira, 708-707-4008
Steve Dale, 612-303-0784
Lisa H. Clark, 608-877-7517