National non-profit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) has entered into a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to substantially expand local government-led financial stability efforts across the US over the next three years.
Up to $19 million will be allocated to replicate the organization’s Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs), resource centers which help low- and middle-income residents reduce debt and increase savings.
The partnership will see over 100 cities and counties offering FEC financial counselling services and the establishment of 10 Financial Empowerment Cities which will put into practice local government plans to support new financial empowerment offices and their staff.
The CFE Fund will also help to accelerate new commitments from as many as 30 local governments, partnering with Black-majority areas to create community-informed financial empowerment blueprints.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the critical importance of building residents' financial stability as part of recovery, resilience, and equity efforts,” said Jonathan Mintz, president and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
“Mayors and local leaders across the country increasingly are turning to financial empowerment strategies to help their residents succeed, and we're thrilled that our partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies will enable us to expand these vital services to more than 100 cities and counties,” he added.
FECs have so far helped over 128,000 clients, supporting them to reduce individual debt by over $183 million, and increase their families’ savings by over $35m, according to the organization.
There are currently 34 municipalities that have launched, or are working to launch, a local FEC initiative. The CFE Fund recently supported its FEC partners in pivoting to offer entirely remote services and expand counselling capacity during the pandemic.
Elsewhere, Citi Bank recently announced it was joining Mastercard’s City Possible network.
The partnership provides City Possible network members access to Citi Start Saving, a program for US municipal and non-profits to expand access to financial services in underserved and low-income communities.
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