The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) has called on the new Government to amend legislation so it can provide 900 million for social housing.
The ILCU, which represents 226 credit unions, also said it wants to provide funding to aid in the retrofitting of 500,000 older funds.
A report from the ILCU called on the Government to bring in a 'new Credit Union Act' to allow its members to utilise credit union assets to better support local communities and offer a "real alternative to traditional commercial banks".
The report also calls for a reduction in capital reserving requirements from the current 10% to 8% to allow credit unions to expand mortgage and business lending offerings.
The ILCU also called for a 12-month suspension of all regulatory levies to allow credit unions to recover from huge costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ILCU President Gerry Thompson said: The huge potential of credit unions to create an even stronger co-operative or community model of banking which provides a valuable alternative to traditional commercial banks exists and has long been discussed. In the post-Covid recovery period, this is needed more than ever. But, while the movement is itself working to make this happen, it also needs a more proactive and can do approach from Government.
Our message to Government today is clear, credit unions have the financial muscle to support our communities through the difficult recovery period ahead but Government must play its part by lifting the barriers which currently prevent credit unions from supporting communities to their full extent."