Cephas, Amalgamated’s CEO Honored

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The New York Housing Conference (NYHC) and the National Housing Conference (NHC) recently presented Derrick D. Cephas, president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, with their Community Banking Award during the organizations’ 33rd Annual Awards Luncheon called “It Began in New York: 75 Years of Housing.”

NHC, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary, is the nation’s premier public policy and housing advocacy organization, while NYHC, founded in 1973, represents the major non-profit and private affordable housing community.

Cephas and Amalgamated Bank were recognized for the Bank’s long-term commitment to providing low-cost financing needed to plan, develop and construct as well as maintain affordable housing developments throughout New York City.        

“Our Bank believes that everyone in America deserves a decent, affordable and safe place to live,” said Cephas. “And, we intend to continue and expand our support for affordable housing as we open more branches during 2007 and 2008 in the City’s densely populated neighborhoods where the working poor and recent immigrants reside.”       

Historically, some key public housing developments that were financed by the Bank include Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx and the River Bend Houses in Harlem. 

Since the 1990s, the Bank’s Housing Loan Program has provided low-cost construction loans to government-sponsored multi-family housing developments for a variety of capital improvements. It’s an innovative program that eliminates fees and streamlines the application process as well as offering low-interest loans that are unsecured.            

The Community Banking Award was presented to Cephas at the luncheon by Lloyd W. Brown, II of The Bank of New York. The award recognizes the legacy, ideals and affordable housing policies Amalgamated Bank has pursued since it was started by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union in 1923.

During the luncheon, NYHC and NHC also honored Richard Ravitch, principal of Ravitch, Rice & Company, with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Emily Youssouf, president of New York City Housing Development Corporation, with the Special Recognition Award; and Sidney Lapidus, chairman of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York, Inc. and managing director as well as senior advisor of Warburg Pincus, LLC, with the Community Service Award.

Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank has distinguished itself as the working person’s bank. The institution, which is an FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.3 billion in assets, currently has nine branches in New York City as well as one branch in each of the following locations: New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and southern California.

Amalgamated Bank is owned by UNITE HERE, the labor union formed in 2004 by the merger of UNITE (the clothing, textile and needletrades union) and HERE (the hotel and restaurant employees union).

The corporation’s web site is www.amalgamatedbank.com.

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