Federal program to back $1B program in 5 Southern states

September 15, 2022 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Almost $100 million in federal funding will provide capital for a $1 billion program to help close racial and gender gaps in five Southern states over the next decade, a large Black-owned financial institution said Thursday.

The Mississippi-based, Black-owned Hope Credit Union said each dollar in a $92.6 million capital infusion from a Treasury Department pandemic relief program will allow it to attract as much as $10 in deposits.

Financing for businesses, affordable housing, nonprofits and homebuyers will then go to needy places in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, the credit union said in a statement.

“With this historic investment by the Treasury, HOPE will ensure that for families, entrepreneurs and communities in the Delta, in the Black Belt and in rural areas and inner cities throughout the Deep South, access to affordable financial tools will no longer be a barrier to their success,” chief executive Bill Bynum said.

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As many as 150,000 people could benefit over the next decade, the credit union said.

The Treasury Department’s Emergency Capital Investment Program was created in 2021 to assist low-income communities that were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide as much as $9 billion in capital to provide grants, loans and other assistance in low- and moderate-income areas.