History

This is long, but an important story of an 11-year effort leading to the November 2006 opening of a credit union in Dudley Square for anyone who lives, works, or worships in Suffolk County!

In 1995, two organizations (Codman Square NDC and Financial Investment Initiative Group (FIIG)) were taking separate paths to establish a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU).  The targeted areas were Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain and the South End.  In October of 1997, the two joined forces to make the credit union initiative a reality.   As we researched existing CDCUs, and identified the substantial obstacles that start-up community credit unions had to overcome to be successful, we realized that it would be in our best interest to form some strategic alliances. Shortly thereafter, we contacted the Massachusetts Credit Union League for technical assistance, and the League introduced us to Eascorp, a corporation that provides services to credit unions.  Eascorp told us about a credit union model out of Tampa, Florida that we could potentially emulate. Following this model, we would partner with an already existing and reputable credit union by serving as one of its local branches until we grew strong enough to be a stand alone credit union.  Eascorp agreed to help us find a partner and we were excited to pursue the Tampa credit union branch model because of the management expertise the model incorporated as well as the ability to provide the community with competitive products and services immediately rather than having to ramp up services under the CDCU model.  
While we were searching for a credit union to partner with us, we met a former liaison for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.  She noted that a number of organizations in the Boston area had expressed an interest in establishing a community credit union and suggested bringing all the groups together to share resources.  This strategy resulted in the establishment of the Boston Community Development Collaborative consisting of Financial Investment Initiative Group (FIIG), Codman Square NDC, Dorchester Bay EDC, Mattapan CDC , Faith Partnership , Morning Star Baptist Church and Jubilee Christian Church (formerly known as New Covenant Christian Church).
In late 2001, Eascorp brought in Tremont Credit Union and a partnership with the Collaborative was formed. The Collaborative and Tremont Credit Union met with the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks in March 2002. He was very enthusiastic and supportive of the project.  Ultimately, the Massachusetts Division of Banks approved the expansion of Tremont Credit Union’s field of membership to include all people who live, work or worship in Suffolk County. The following year Tremont Credit Union and the Collaborative signed a Memorandum of Understanding that specified the contribution of both parties to the planned new community branches.  Then a feasibility study was conducted to determine the best location for the initial branch and Dudley Square was selected.  For the past year we have been in dialogue with various property owners in the Dudley Square area to identify a site.  The space being developed by Nuestra Comunidad in their newly constructed building on Warren Street, annexing the Dartmouth Hotel, has been selected.  Tremont Credit Union has negotiated the lease agreement.  The Dudley Square branch is projected to open in the fall 2006.
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