Aurora Receives National Grant to Offer Free Financial Counseling to Residents

The City of Aurora and the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) announced this week their selection to replicate the proven Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) model under its nationwide FEC Public national platform.

The City will receive $20,000 in financial support and technical assistance to launch a local FEC and bring free, professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a public service to Aurora residents.

“We are honored to be a recipient of the CFE Fund grant to better serve our residents,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “Financial education is an integral part of community development. As we work with individuals and families to strengthen their financial foundations, the economic base will also become more stable.”

Currently, 18 local governments across the country are working to replicate this proven model.

The CFE Fund, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Wells Fargo, The JPB Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and Capital One, is working to expand the FEC model to as many as 50 local governments across the map. The CFE Fund provides grant support, intensive technical assistance, and a vibrant national learning community to help local government partners plan, launch, and sustain Financial Empowerment Centers for their residents.

“Individual and family financial stability is key to community financial stability,” said Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “Mayor Richard Irvin and the City of Aurora are committed to a national movement to bring free, high-quality financial counseling as a public service to their residents; we are proud to partner with Mayor Irvin on this critical work.”

Planning to launch the local FEC in 2019, Aurora is one of nine localities just selected to receive a grant and intensive technical assistance through the national FEC Public platform, which promotes scale and sustainability for the growing movement of professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service.

First piloted in New York City under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2008, the FECs have worked with over 82,000 clients, helping them reduce individual debt by over $100 million, and increasing their families’ savings by over to $10 million.

Financial Empowerment Centers (FECs) offer professional, one-on-one financial counseling as a free public service. At the Financial Empowerment Centers, professionally trained FEC counselors help individuals and families with low and moderate incomes manage their finances, pay down debt, increase savings, establish and build credit, and access safe and affordable mainstream banking products. At the core of the FEC model is the integration of counseling into other social services, including housing and foreclosure prevention, workforce development, prisoner reentry, benefits access, domestic violence services, and more.

Aurora is one of nine new local governments selected for this newest local government cohort after a competitive application process; the other partners are Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; the County of Hawai’i, HI; Erie, PA; Polk County, IA; Roanoke, VA; Rochester, NY; and Washington, DC

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