Owning a home is often out-of-reach for many families. In Durham, 60 percent of residents are renters. But the program sponsored by the bank and the churches aims to change that.
A key part of the program requires educational seminars to teach basic budgeting and the ins and outs of mortgages. For every new bank account the program generates, Centura will pay the church $30, which can be used for community improvement.
Centura also intends to lower mortgage down payments for people who go through the program.
It's seen as an effort to build a bridge back to the community and empower the people. The principle is that once people have access to economic empowerment, the inner city communities will turn around, and development will occur that brings jobs and increases the tax base.
Community-centered banking has been successful in many states, including Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.
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