Tag Archives: Amalgamated Bank

Bank employees partner with Habitat for Humanity to build home in Hollis

| amatua@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angela Matua

Employees from a local bank put on their hard hats on Friday to help build a home for a family in Hollis.

Partnering with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing for low-income families, Amalgamated Bank is also giving its customers a chance to donate to the nonprofit with its “Donate the Change” campaign.

For every purchase using a bank-issued debit card that is $10 and over, the bank will donate 10 cents to Habitat for Humanity NYC. Keith Mestrich, the bank’s president and CEO, said Amalgamated Bank has a long history of providing affordable housing to New York City residents.

“Our bank for a long time has done a lot for affordable housing, really going back to the ’20s when the Parent Union, which owns our bank, probably built more affordable housing in the city than any other entity in the history of New York and so this is just part of our mission,” Mestrich said.

Habitat for Humanity NYC is working to build 12 single-family homes in Queens in neighborhoods including Hollis, Rosedale, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens and Queens Village and are working with the New York City Housing Authority to buy and repair another 15 houses in the borough.

“It’s a very unique program within New York City,” said Matthew Dunbar, vice president of government relations and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity NYC. “New York has a 32 percent homeownership rate which is extremely low. It’s about the exact opposite of the rest of the country. So our work is critical and there’s very few, if any folks currently building homeownership opportunities.”

Serina Sacasa, who lives in the Bronx with her three children, will soon become a homeowner in Laurelton. Sacasa applied to the program a year and a half ago and will be moving into her home in November.

“About a year and a half ago I decided it’s time for us to get a bigger place,” Sarcasa said. “New York City is a hard market for housing and my kids wanted a home, they wanted a backyard so I researched and found some things but they didn’t really work out. Then I found Habitat. They provide education courses so you’re not just going into the homeownership process completely blind and you also have to give a little sweat equity.”

According to Dunbar, homeowners accepted by the Habitat for Humanity program must spend 250 hours building their home and helping to build other homes purchased by Habitat for Humanity. They must also have a credit score of 650 or higher. Homeowners receive a low-interest mortgage and help with every step of the homeownership process.

The construction in Hollis will be completed sometime in the fall and another family will be able to call themselves homeowners.

“Habitat is great,” Sarcasa said. “I’m just glad that there are programs to combat the housing crisis.”


Middle Village bank robber linked to four other local heists since 2012

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

photo courtesy of NYPD

The crook who successfully swiped cash from a Middle Village bank on Wednesday afternoon is also responsible for four heists in Brooklyn and Queens dating back to 2012, according to police.

Authorities said the perpetrator grabbed an unknown amount of cash from the Cross County Savings Bank at 80-10 Eliot Ave. at about 3:22 p.m. on Wednesday.

The bandit — described as a white male between 38 and 48 years old, standing between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing between 280 and 300 pounds — approached a teller and demanded money, according to police. After being provided with cash, he fled in an unknown direction.

Officers from the 104th Precinct responded to the scene; there were no injuries.

Detectives determined the crook held up another bank — the Amalgamated Bank at 69-73 Grand Ave. in Maspeth — three separate times in the last three years.

The bandit reportedly first visited the branch on Aug. 4, 2012, and, while armed with a weapon, stolen a unknown amount of cash. He returned to the location unarmed twice more — on May 4, 2013, and Oct. 18, 2014 — and swiped various amounts of currency.

Police also linked the bandit to the July 19, 2013, armed robbery of a Sovereign Bank located at 4823 13th Ave. in Brooklyn.

Anyone with information regarding the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


Police looking for suspect who wore blue gloves to rob Maspeth bank

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

A man dressed in all black, wearing blue gloves and donning sunglasses robbed a Maspeth bank Saturday morning, authorities said.

The suspect entered an Amalgamated Bank, located at 69-73 Grand Ave., at about 11:50 a.m. and demanded money from a teller, according to police. The teller complied and the suspect fled the bank with $873.

Authorities describe that suspect as a heavy-set white man, 40 to 50 years old and 5 feet 6 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, black hat, black sunglasses, black sweatpants and blue gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


Maspeth bank robber wanted

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man wanted in connection to a bank robbery in Maspeth last weekend.

The suspect entered the Amalgamated Bank at 69-73 Grand Avenue around 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 and approached a teller, said police. He verbally demanded and received cash from the employee, put it in a black plastic bag, then fled on foot northbound on 69th Lane.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 40 to 50 years old, approximately 5’6″, 250 pounds, with scruffy facial hair. He was wearing sunglasses, a black jacket, black pants, a baseball hat and latex gloves.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.