Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NeighborWorks Campaign Aims to Increase Home Ownership

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NeighborWorks Campaign Aims to Increase Home Ownership

Article excerpt

In an effort to change the face of home ownership, 22 Neighbor Works organizations from around the country each received $60,000 grants to establish HomeOwnership centers in their cities.

The grants, $50,000 from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, a congressionally chartered nonprofit organization that founded and supports the NeighborWorks network, and $10,000 from Freddie Mac, will provide operational costs for each local group to help citizens find, purchase, rehabilitate and maintain their homes.

The centers are part of the NeighborWorks Campaign for Home Ownership 2002, a joint effort between banks, insurance companies, secondary markets, government and the real estate community to increase home ownership among moderate income families.

"We see the new centers as being the engine for growth in homeowership for the next five years," said Doug Dylla, national coordinator of the campaign. "These one-stop shops are extremely convenient for customers. They are a key strategy in reaching our production goals."

The 2002 Campaign began in 1998, with the goal of educating 270,000 families, creating 35,000 new homebuyers, generating $2.5 billion in investment in modest-income communities nationwide by the end of 2002.

The NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center in Richmond, Va., has helped the city's housing services quadruple production.

"We're really excited we have found a niche and are fulfilling the community need for home ownership," said Karen Kiehna Oliver, executive director of Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services.

The Richmond center opened in August 1998, putting all of the housing services in one center, which helps meet each customer's need and make the services more visible, she said.

"It has really brought all of our programs to one place, putting all of our program's into the community's view," Oliver said. …

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