Suffolk Federal Credit Union (SFCU) and Long Island Housing Services, Inc. (LIHS) are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement that resolves the civil rights complaint filed by LIHS with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2016, regarding SFCU’s mortgage program.
The settlement confirms and further enhances SFCU’s commitment to its members and non-members, regardless of race, national origin, or any other protected class classification.
Over the past year, SFCU has worked with LIHS to review and improve its policies and procedures and marketing efforts toward underserved communities, including in zip codes identified by LIHS. The cooperation between LIHS and SFCU is reflected in the agreement, which includes the following investments in the community:
- SFCU will conduct a targeted marketing program to certain underserved zip codes within Suffolk County (11701, 11706, 11713, 11717, 11722, 11726, 11749, 11798).
- SFCU will offer a down payment and closing assistance subsidy program to potential homeowners or current homeowners from the targeted zip code areas for the purchase of a primary residence (including refinance or second purchase) in the amount of $1,250.00, for up to eight (8) qualifying applicants per year for three (3) years.
- SFCU will continue to offer financial education programs specifically marketed to residents in the targeted zip codes.
- SFCU will continue to provide its marketing materials in both English and Spanish.
- SFCU will conduct additional fair lending training for all of its current employees with customer interactions relating to residential lending and continue to provide fair lending trainings to all employees of SFCU with customer contact.
- SFCU will retain an independent third party to conduct an enhanced fair lending self-testing program to identify potential customer service or discrimination issues.
- SFCU will use a Language Access Line to aid credit union customers who primarily speak or read languages other than English.
“We are happy to be able to partner with our fellow Long Islanders at SFCU to increase the access to mortgage opportunities for communities that have historically had difficulty obtaining access to credit,” said Ian Wilder, LIHS Executive Director. “LIHS is very satisfied with the outcome of the agreement between LIHS and SFCU” said Marian D. Reid, Deputy Director. LIHS was represented by the law firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC, in Washington, D.C.
“Suffolk Federal Credit Union has a long history of serving the people of Suffolk County, and will continue to work to ensure equal access to mortgages and other financial opportunities for all members of our community. As a member-owned cooperative, we determined that it was in the best interest of our members to resolve this matter with LIHS quickly rather than endure a lengthy and costly litigation process,” said Ralph D. Spencer, SFCU President.
Founded in 1969, Long Island Housing Services, Inc. is a private, nonprofit HUD-qualified Fair Housing Enforcement Organization and a federally certified, approved Housing Counseling agency that is supported in part through grants from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Long Island Housing Services’ mission is the elimination of unlawful housing discrimination and promotion of decent and affordable housing through advocacy and education.
Suffolk Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution chartered in 1967 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and is owned and operated by its members. The volunteer-directed credit union has assets in excess of $1 billion and more than 55,000 members. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school or regularly conducts business in Suffolk County, NY as well as immediate family members of current membership. To learn more, visit www.suffolkfcu.org, call 631.924.8000 or visit any Suffolk Federal branch today.
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