WNYC – News – Many New Yorkers Live in Zip Codes Without Banks

I heard this on the radio this morning.  This sounds like the Lower East Side of Manhattan before they started the LES People’s Federal Credit Union.  Now the neighborhood has changed and there are many banks in the

WNYC – News – Many New Yorkers Live in Zip Codes Without Banks

NEW YORK, NY July 13, 2009 —Some 280,000 New Yorkers live in zip codes without a single bank. That’s according to an investigation from city councilman Eric Gioia.

REPORTER: He says if a check cashing place is the only financial institution in a neighborhood, it’s nearly impossible for residents to make it into the middle class.

GIOIA: Without a bank, you can’t save up for college, you can’t even get a credit card, so a mortgage is completely out of the question.

REPORTER: The Queens Democrat, who is a candidate for public advocate, is calling on the city to aggressively market empty commercial space to banks. He also wants the state to allow credit unions to be part of banking development districts.

(Shared via AddThis)


Also in the New York Post

A Queens councilman yesterday called for a summit between banks and city officials to find a way to get financial institutions into low-income areas.

“We’re living in a two-tiered city,” Democrat Eric Gioia said at a news conference at 32nd Street and Park Avenue, where there are six banks.

In a recent study, Gioia said, his office found that the city has eight ZIP codes without a bank.

One way to bring banks to these areas is to aggressively market vacant retail spaces to banks and credit unions, the councilman said.


I was looking to for a list of zipcodes that don’t currently have banks.  I saw Queensbridge on Councilmember Gioia’s website but couldn’t find a complete list.

Incidentally, the councilmember is on Twitter (@EricGioia).

The Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union is helpful to the community for its affordable financial services as well as financial literacy training.  They help low-income New Yorkers receive benefits and services they need, while keeping members away from check cashers and payday lenders.  They also operate a free tax preperation (VITA) site during the spring, helping neighbors receive the Earned Income Tax Credit if eligible.


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