Building Community Wealth in Bushwick: Home Mortgage Lending Strategies for a Locally-Based Credit Union

Client: Bushwick Cooperative Federal Credit Union
Faculty: Sarah Ludwig and Hilary Botein
Team: Jessica Anthony, Joel Dabu, Christina Mang, Danielle Samalin, RuthAnne Visnauskas, Ryan Whalen
Year: 2004
Bushwick, Brooklyn is one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York City. Over 30 percent of the 105,000 residents receive income assistance and 37 percent live below the poverty level. Given the pressing need for affordable housing and sound lending practices in this low-income neighborhood, Bushwick Cooperative, a community development credit union, was created to address the lack of mainstream financial institutions and access to credit. The Capstone team analyzed demographic data, housing data and current mortgage lending activity; surveyed credit union members; and conducted in-depth interviews with neighborhood stakeholders and other community development credit unions. The team provided Bushwick Cooperative with a best practices report containing recommendations that the credit union will incorporate into the design of its home mortgage lending program.