Treasury will post on its website contracts with the financial institutions that received federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds. This increased transparency puts pressure on recipients to use these public funds wisely and assists local officials and community organizations in monitoring how the funds are used locally. Woodstock applauds this move and urges vigilant government and community oversight on use of TARP funds.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a stimulus package that includes a line proposed by Sen. Durbin (D-IL) for $250 million for the CDFI Fund. If included in the final Senate bill and conference report with the House (which did not include a CDFI Fund allocation in its stimulus package), this could help get credit flowing to families and businesses in lower-income communities. The US Senate is expected to vote on the stimulus package on Feb. 2. For more information, go to

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would allow judges in bankruptcy proceedings to modify mortgage loans to prevent foreclosures, which is not allowed under current law. The Senate is considering a similar provision. If approved, this would help stabilize families and communities by keeping families in their homes.

Much work remains to be done, but this is a good start.