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Help for homeowners among initiatives mayor will announce at state of city address

The city will help prop up credit unions and create a cash fund for homeowners facing foreclosure, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce Wednesday during his state of the city speech.

In an address short on significant new policy initiatives, the mayor, just three weeks into his third term, will also outline a series of measures aimed at helping juvenile offenders re-enter society and help parents track their kids during the school day.

According to remarks prepared for delivery this afternoon at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Bloomberg, who will be introduced by singer Tony Bennet will announce that $25 million in city funds will be deposited directly into credit unions in an effort to encourage people who can't regular afford banking fees to open accounts.

In addition, a $10 million fund will be created - half from private entities and half from the Battery Park City Authority -to pay for grants to help people refinance their homes.

For parents, the mayor plans to install GPS devices on school buses and send text messages to waiting parents; they will also be able to sign up for texts telling them if their kids are absent.

On the technology front, the city will also create a new feature on it Web site allowing people to get customized information.

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