Today, Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, launched the new Office of Financial Inclusion (OFI). The launch event took place at Instituto del Progreso Latino and included community partners, financial institutions, and other community stakeholders.
The office will provide resources for Chicagoans at all stages of life – kids, youth, adults and seniors. The website offers a number of resources, including a “Services Locator” – a search engine where Chicagoans can search for local services by typing an address into the website. Services include: financial education, credit counseling, housing counseling, workforce development, tax preparation and micro-lending for small businesses.
One focus of OFI will be to enhance opportunities for Chicago residents to access credit counseling and credit building opportunities. Tomorrow, September 11th, they will host their first event on the topic – Credit is an Asset. The one-day interactive training is designed to help service providers understand credit building, develop tools to build credit programs, and discuss best practices.
Robert Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development, spoke about the need for this work in Chicago sharing that “1 in 3 Chicago residents have no or a low credit score which leaves them outside of the financial mainstream.” Citi Community Development is providing an innovation grant to support OFI and its signature initiative focused on credit building and financial coaching.
Treasurer Neely will join us at the IABG Conference on October 8th & 9th to welcome attendees to Chicago and share more information about OFI. Check out the full agenda and register before the early bird registration deadline on September 24th.