This month, La Casa de Don Pedro recognizes NeighborWorks America, one of the country’s leaders in affordable housing and community development. NeighborWorks is a congressionally-chartered corporation, receiving a direct annual appropriation. La Casa is a NeighborWorks America Charter Organization and partners with the corporation to achieve its efforts in affordable housing, foreclosure mitigation, and first time homebuyer programs.
Like La Casa de Don Pedro, NeighborWorks America’s roots lie in community organizing. Back in 1968, a group of residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania decided to take matters in their own hands when they encountered too many barriers preventing them from achieving the quintessential American dream of homeownership. A group led by Dorothy Mae Richardson enlisted city bankers, government officials, block club members to persuade financial institutions to make conventional loans in their community. The effort was called “Neighborhood Housing Services.” When the Federal Home Loan Bank heard word of this new accomplishment they sought to make this a model for the rest of the country by training savings-and-loan officers to appropriately serve the country’s older urban markets. These trainings helped start other Neighborhood Housing Services organizations. A formal partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the Federal Home Loan Bank allowed the program to expand across the country by creating an initiative called the Urban Reinvestment Task Force.
In 1978 congress institutionalized the Neighborhood Housing Services organization by establishing it as the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. This new corporation was chartered to carry out the work of the Urban Reinvestment Task Force. The act defined Neighborhood Reinvestment’s mission as “revitalizing older urban neighborhoods by mobilizing public, private and community resources at the neighborhood level.” In 2003 Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation formally changed its name to NeighborWorks America
While NeighborWorks America’s work (and name) has evolved over the years, they remain focused on creating and preserving housing opportunities that are sustainable and affordable, advancing comprehensive community development and resident engagement to achieve positive community impact, and strengthening the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of the community development and affordable housing field. They do this by supporting a network of strong, sustainable NeighborWorks organizations to share successful business models and leverage expertise.
As a NeighborWorks Charter since 2010 La Casa de Don Pedro has received more than $770,000 in funding to support its affordable housing, neighborhood preservation, foreclosure counseling and first time home buyer programs. NeighborWorks trainings engages La Casa’s community and economic development team with hundreds of other leaders in the field across the country, sharing new ideas and helping serve as peer support.
La Casa is very grateful for the tremendous support and partnership of NeighborWorks America.
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