Keep People In Their Homes

We are calling on Credit Unions to create an emergency loan product to keep people in their homes.

This is an unprecedented moment of crisis in American history. Whether or not there is a new moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, as many as 20% to 30% of Americans are vulnerable to eviction in the coming months or at the end of a moratorium -- in the middle of a pandemic. The magnitude of human suffering and spread of disease this will cause is incalculable - and unconscionable.

Our people need help that is not coming. We've got to do it ourselves.

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  • Richmond
    Keep Virginians in their homes
    We are calling on Virginia Credit Union to create an emergency, no-interest loan product to keep Virginians in their homes. This is an unprecedented moment of crisis in American history. Whether or not there is a new moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, as many as 20% to 30% of Americans are vulnerable to eviction in the coming months or at the end of a moratorium -- in the middle of a pandemic. The magnitude of human suffering and spread of disease this will cause is incalculable - and unconscionable. Our people need help that is not coming. We've got to do it ourselves. This is how credit unions like Virginia Credit Union started in the last Great Depression, in the midst of another unprecedented market and government failure. When investor-owned banks would not lend to working people in crisis, the social movement organizers of an earlier generation came together to start their own banks. Ninety years later, our credit unions are all grown up. Credit unions today count 100 million Americans as member-owners, have $1.7 trillion in assets, and do $80 billion in revenue each year. VACU is one of the biggest, with over 250,000 member-owners and $3 billion assets. Though massive, it is still democratically-owned, with an elected board of directors, and it is still governed by the international cooperative principles, including concern for community, and the cooperative values of democracy, equity, and mutual self-help. As you know, since the last economic crisis in 2008, the 5,000 credit unions across the country have accumulated an excess of reserves beyond the 8% required by NCUA. Across the country, this is now a rainy day fund of member-owned capital that, in July 2020, had reached $56 billion. If every credit union used just 20% of this excess member-owned capital as a loan-loss reserve fund, we could back $100 billion of emergency loans. VACU has $76 million of member-owned capital in excess reserves. At a conservative 10% rate of default, this could back $760 million of emergency loans for our fellow Virginians. If VACU used just 20% of its excess reserves, Central Virginia would have $150 million in emergency lending to forestall a tragedy of human suffering. Other credit unions will follow VACU’s leads, making the impact even greater. This is the money that Virginia needs right now to keep people in their homes. It is already present in our credit union -- and we own it! Virginia Credit Union did not cause this crisis, but it has the power to prevent millions of people from being evicted, and with that power comes the responsibility to act. This is the moment for VACU to demonstrate the difference that cooperative ownership makes: while banks are foreclosing, VACU can be sheltering Virginia, her people, and their communities from this storm. We call on you, VACU’s board of elected directors, and your excellent staff to act with all due swiftness to use VACU’s $76 million surplus in member-owned capital to create flexible, no-interest emergency loans and whatever else is necessary to #KeepPeopleInTheirHomes. Sincerely and cooperatively, Daniel Mintz, Lead Organizer, We Own It Virginia Andrea Miller, Director, People Demanding Action Christiane Riederer Josi Riederer Carolyn Peart Kathy Freise Henree Josie Dalia Burks Jen Chambers
    9 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Daniel Mintz