Columbus Celebrates American Addition Infrastructure Improvements

For Immediate Release

November 5, 2014                          


Tyneisha Harden, Mayor’s Office, 645-2425

Rick Tilton, Public Service, 645-7263

George Zonders, Public Utilities, 645-2926

Steve Nichol, Homeport, 545-4838
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Residents Join Mayor Coleman and City Councilmember Hardin To Celebrate Completion of First Phase of American Addition Infrastructure Improvements

Neighborhood leaders and representatives of Homeport joined Mayor Michael B. Coleman and City Councilmember Shannon G. Hardin to celebrate the completion of the first phase of roadway and other infrastructure improvements in the American Addition neighborhood.  The work is part of the American Addition Improvements Project, which is a joint effort between the City of Columbus and Homeport.  

“We are investing in the American Addition neighborhood to make it safer for families,” said Mayor Coleman.  “This project makes it safer to walk in the neighborhood, reduces flooding during rainstorms and makes homeownership possible for more families.”

American Addition, Phase 1, infrastructure improvements include:

  • Reconstruction, including the addition of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, to the following streets:
    • East 12th Avenue between Joyce Avenue and Sampson Avenue
    • Lee Avenue
    • Sampson Avenue
    • Sigsbee Avenue
    • Woodford Avenue between Joyce Avenue and Katahdin Alley
  • Improvements to existing alleys and construction of additional new alleys
  • Addition of street lights
  • Addition of storm sewers
  • New water lines
  • Addition of street trees
  • Rain Gardens

“I thank God that he not only let me see this day and made a dream come true, but that the best is yet to come,” said American Addition neighborhood leader Marie Moreland Short.   “I want to thank Mayor Coleman for keeping his promise.” 

Phases 2 and 3 of the American Addition infrastructure improvements project are scheduled for construction beginning in August 2015, with completion scheduled for August 2016, weather permitting.  Infrastructure improvements include roadway reconstruction and the addition of sidewalks, curbs, storm sewers, new water lines and street lights. 

“American Addition plays a significant role in the history of Columbus and the fabric of our community,” said Councilmember Hardin, chair of the Public Service & Transportation Committee.  “For decades, this development served as a hub of African-American life in Columbus.   The improvements here will restore this neighborhood to the prominence it deserves.”

The American Addition project also includes homes that have been built, and will be built, by Homeport.  Homeport has built and sold 10 new homes in American Addition to date, plans to build seven to 10 homes in 2015, and intends to develop 80 additional lots in the neighborhood.

“At Homeport, our mission is to provide homes where families can live safely and with stability – and flourish long term,” said Homeport President/CEO Amy Klaben. “We are proud to be a partner with the city in rejuvenating a long neglected neighborhood. American Addition’s new homes and infrastructure, community center and park, and close proximity to the downtown, have merged to make this a desirable place to call ‘home.’”

Phases 2 and 3 of the project will include the following infrastructure improvements:

  • Phase 2:
    • Reconstruction, including the addition of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, street lights and street trees to the following streets:

   East 12th Avenue between Sampson Avenue and Petrel Alley

   Key West Avenue between Woodford Avenue and Helena Alley

   Puritan Avenue between Woodford Avenue and Helena Alley

   Woodford Avenue between Katahdin Alley to Petrel Alley

  • Improvements to the following alleys:

   Helena Alley between Katahdin Alley and Petrel Alley

   Olympia Alley between Woodford Avenue and Helena Alley

   Petrel Alley between East 12th Avenue and Woodford Avenue

  • Addition of storm sewers
  • New water lines
  • Addition of rain gardens
  • Phase 3:
    • Reconstruction, including the addition of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, street lights and street trees to the following streets:

   Dewey Avenue between Katahdin Alley and Petrel Alley

   Key West Avenue between Dewey Avenue and Woodford Avenue

   Puritan Avenue between Dewey Avenue and Woodford Avenue

  • Improvements to the following alleys:

   Katahdin Alley between Woodford Avenue and Dewey Avenue

   Olympia Alley between Woodford Avenue and Dewey Avenue

   Petrel Alley between Woodford Avenue and Dewey Avenue

  • Addition of storm sewers
  • New water lines
  • Addition of rain gardens
  • Costs (includes design, right-of-way acquisition, construction and inspection)
    • Phase 1:  $ 5.8 million
    • Phases 2 and 3:  $ 5.7 million

The Department of Public Service is administering the roadway, sidewalk and alley improvement segments of the American Addition project.  The Department of Public Utilities, which is constructing storm sewer, water line and street light improvements, and the Department of Development are partners in the project.   

Adjacent to the American Addition project, work continues on Phase 2 of the Joyce Avenue Improvements Project, on Joyce Avenue between East 12th Avenue and immediately north of East 17th Avenue, and on East 17th Avenue between Brentnell Avenue and 300 feet west of Billiter Boulevard.  The project includes roadway reconstruction and the addition of sidewalks, shared used paths, storm sewers, upgraded water lines and street lights.  Phase 2 is scheduled for completion in 2015, with Phase 3 construction scheduled to begin in 2016.   Phase 1 of the Joyce Avenue Improvements Project was completed in November 2013.


Building With Boys & Girls Clubs

Summer Camp Success Leads To After School Program At Pheasant Run

From a dark, dreary, cool and drizzly mid-week afternoon, the elementary-through high school students of Pheasant Run pop through their Homeport community learning center with a hop in their step and excitement in their voices.

There is structured rambunctiousness as the children from Reynoldsburg flip on laptop computers or open books, their minds still fresh from a day of learning at school.

It is the give and take of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus after school program -- study, focus, but have fun before the apartment complex community center doors close at 7:30 p.m.

“We try to be balanced,” said Anthony Williams, the on-site program leader. “We don’t want to be a drill sergeant. We want them to be comfortable.”

The fun might include a reward of an interactive NBA game. It might be a challenge set forth as they move about, questions written in red highlighter on a white board:

“What does it mean to be a leader – and find a quote about leadership,” the first question says.

“What are your goals and how do you plan on reaching them?” is the second challenge.

The third assignment question: “What are some benefits of practicing forgiveness – and a quote about forgiveness.”

Last summer, in part through a $30,000 grant from the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation’s Resident Development Fund, Homeport contracted Boys & Girls Clubs to provide a summer camp at Pheasant Run.

The program, meant to prevent learning loss in the absence of school, was attended on any given day by as many as 50 children. It was such a hit, Homeport asked Boys & Girls to have an after school program at Pheasant.

Rachel Cohen, an Ohio State University political science student from Dayton who ran the summer program at Pheasant Run, has returned part-time in support of Williams who oversees the program expected to serve at least 50 students. “It is really cool to be back,” she says.

Pheasant Run was the first rental community at Homeport to have Boys & Girls programming. Homeport is discussing with Boys & Girls how to expand its high impact after school programming to other Homeport communities. Sustainable funding would be needed.

 “The Boys & Girls Clubs programs fit beautifully together with Homeport’s mission of creating bright futures for families, breaking the cycle of poverty, and empowering our children with education, inclusion, and subsequently, the foundation of confidence to achieve their dreams,” says Homeport President/CEO Amy Klaben.

Pheasant Run eighth grader Miles Gibson gives the afternoon program a thumbs up.

“I like that I can do my homework. I like being with my friends. I like my teachers,” said Gibson, 14. “They understand our homework and our problems.”

(Individuals or businesses interested in supporting Homeport’s after-school initiatives can do so by contacting Peter Tripp, Director of Donor & Investor Relations, at peter.tripp@homeportohio.org, or 614 545-4853.)

Homeport’s Annual Celebration Packs ‘The Vault’

Audience Asked To Increase Support Of Organization’s Mission

More than 400 people gathered recently in downtown Columbus to celebrate Homeport’s 27 years as a leader in affordable housing – and to recognize the challenges ahead.

“Whatever you did this year, do a little more next year,” said U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty.

Speakers praised Homeport for its affordable home ownership and rental opportunities, foreclosure prevention counseling and homebuyer education, as well as on-site educational and after-school programs for resident children.

“A child’s future should not be determined by zip code,” said Joe Gilligan, Central Ohio office director for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. “That’s why the work Homeport does is so important.”

The program, held Oct. 16 at event venue “The Vault,” was underwritten with the support of Homeport donors. Chairman of the Homeport board, Thomas O’Hara, offered greetings to the audience. Appearing on a video, Jeff Hastings, president of U.S. Bank’s Central Ohio operations, urged participants to join Homeport’s special donor program known as the “Army of 1000.” 

The audience watched our feature video [see top of page] that featured residents of Homeport. A senior citizen spoke of how a moderate income Homeport community enabled him to care of his failing wife. A single mom spoke to her dream of raising her 10-year-old daughter in a safe, single-family home. Another woman spoke to how Homeport helped her avoid foreclosure.

The special evening was highlighted by a report from Homeport President/CEO Amy Klaben on the Homeport communities housing 5300 people, half of whom are children, and the programs and services critical to their stability and long term success.

 “We are helping to break the cycle of poverty,” Klaben said. “We are creating a new future for so many families in our beautiful city. Because of what you have done over the past year, this is possible.”

But, more needs to be done in creating educational empowerment, neighborhood revitalization and safe, decent affordable homes, she said.

“Please join me as we re-double our efforts, explore new areas, and do the things that are hard to do. Join us in making a difference, because Home Matters.  As John F. Kennedy said about going to the moon, ‘We do these things…not because they are easy, but because they are hard. These are the things that measure the best of us.’”

Rachel reflects on Pheasant Run Summer

On June 15th, Pheasant Run Boys and Girls Club staff members greeted 27 children for the first day of summer programming.  By August 8th, the Club had worked with 87 different community members ages 6-18, and was frequently seeing upwards of 40 attendees per day.

Working as the Site Lead at Pheasant Run this summer was full of high notes.  In terms of raw numbers, we exceeded a 50-member enrollment goal and 35-member average daily attendance goals.  What truly resonated with the staff, however, were the days when children like 9-year-old LouAnthony Armistead would ask us to stay into the school year—an unlikely request, considering that we spent up to two hours a day working on academic programming.  Pheasant Run attended a Team Smile free dental care event at Nationwide Arena and meet the Blue Jackets mascot, and seeing children excited about getting cavities filled will certainly stick with us.  Our teen group participated in résumé writing workshops and later in mock interviews at Bank of America, Nationwide Insurance, and Huntington Bank.  When 12-year-old James Settle returned from his Huntington interview to announce that he had received two separate awards in the follow-up session at the end—competing against every other eligible Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus teen—I was far prouder than when we enrolled our 50th member.

Saying goodbye to the children of Pheasant Run was extremely difficult, but I know that the community there is strong and the members we worked with this summer will continue to thrive.  The staff at Pheasant Run, myself included, cannot thank Homeport and the families of Pheasant Run enough for the opportunity to help our members further develop their potential.


Homeport Young Professionals Back to School Fun Day at George's Creek

On August 13th the Homeport Young Professionals hosted a Back to School Rally and Play Day at our George’s Creek apartment community.  The volunteers handed out 60 backpacks full of school supplies to the kids who participated.  They did face painting, decorating folders for school, making key chains, dodgeball, hula hoops, and even teaching some of the kids how to hold and swing a baseball bat.  And just when everyone thought things were wrapping up, one of the Young Professionals showed up with sub sandwiches for everyone!  It was so nice to see all the smiling faces eating together and enjoying their community.  

It was truly a rewarding experience for all!  Thank you to everyone involved in the planning, shopping, and making it all happen.  You are such an important part of what we do. 

Shining brightly in our communities through Leaderspark

Pamela Johnson-Smith has lived at Framingham Village for 17 years, in fact she is on of the original residents. On May 15 she introduced Asha Ahmed at Homeport’s LeaderSpark graduation. In her own words, you can hear the impact of the intergenerational interaction:

The door opened and the sun shined in; the door closed and one realized it was the smile of a beautiful young lady, not the sun that caused the glow.  Asha Ahmed is regal in appearance, humble in her mannerisms; she is sixteen years old and blossoming into her womanhood. Asha is an honor student at Zenith Academy; she loves to read and watch anime (cartoons). She is soft spoken, shy, and is still learning her power.  Her goals include obtaining an advanced degree in nursing and returning to her homeland of Somalia where she can serve her people.  Asha enrolled in the LeaderSpark program to enhance her public speaking skills and to connect with her community.  She glides with the agility of a gazelle, but admits she is much more mental than physical; unlike most teenagers she would rather read than shop.  Asha has worked on environmental projects with her school which enabled her to use prior experience to enhance the LeaderSpark 2014 Project. She considers her loving father her primary mentor; he encourages her to be her best and accepts her as she is.Asha is truly a Jr Leader who will be a force to be reckoned with as she continues to grow and mature.

Homeport and Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus - Pheasant Run Open House

Homeport and Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus hosted local, regional and national guests at an open house on July 29, 2014 to introduce the community to their new partnership formed to serve low income youth at the Pheasant Run Apartments in Columbus. Pheasant Run is an affordable housing community owned by Homeport and this summer is the first time Boys & Girls Clubs is operating a Club program out of our community center. This site is serving as a pilot program with the goal of replication to examine a collaborative approach to provide summer and out-of-school programs to children in need. By providing rental housing to more than 5,000 low-income residents in Central Ohio, Homeport meets basic needs by providing safe, decent and affordable housing. By providing programming inside a Homeport community, Boys & Girls Clubs can leverage existing capital resources, lower its overhead costs, and serve a high-need community – all without having to navigate transportation and family engagement barriers.

Thanks to Ohio Capital Impact Corporation for their support to make this program happen.

In 2014 the Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, through its Carol Mount Peterson Resident Development Fund, awarded Homeport $28,000 to provide a summer program for the youth of Pheasant Run. Through a partnership with Boys and Girls Club of Columbus, they have given the youth the opportunity to be a part of a camp focused on summer learning, character building, and activities geared toward broadening their future goals.

More information here


King Lincoln District focus of 2014 REALTOR® Care Day

2014 REALTOR® Care Day

For the 2014 REALTOR® Care Day, Columbus REALTORS® main project included four different projects in the King Lincoln District all focused on enhancing the E. Long St. corridor (between Garfield and 17th St.). Work crews were able to improve an outdoor eating area, place 30 commercial planters provide general trash cleanup and create a new green space complete with hopscotch and oversized checkers. (Map of LocationProject Map

Over $37,000 invested in central Ohio 

(June 6, 2014) 530 local REALTORS®, family and friends cleaned, painted, pruned and planted this past Wednesday as part of the Columbus REALTORS®’ 10th annual REALTOR® Care Day, helping improve 30 homes and organizations all over central Ohio!

Started in 2005, REALTOR® Care Day is an annual day of service to the communities in which REALTORS® live, work and raise families. In the last ten years, REALTOR® Care Day has contributed over $291,000 in improvements and repairs and hundreds of hours of service to residents and communities around central Ohio. 

“REALTORS® frequently volunteer their time and talent throughout the year,” said Milt Lustnauer, 2014 president of the Columbus REALTORS®. “This one-day event in particular allows us to hone the Power of US by focusing our collective energy - as well as those of our family, friends and colleagues – to make a significant difference throughout central Ohio.”

Thanks to our 2014 Volunteers!
Jennifer Angelcyk 
Zach Appleby 
Hubert (Jack) Banks 
Brenndan Bauman 
Yoko Bihary 
Elizabeth Blair 
Denise Bohnert 
Laurie Boudreaux 
Marqué Bressler 
Donna Brozovich 
Leslie Cady McFadden 
Kelly Cantwell 
Karleya Chard 
Marcella Chepp 
Mallory Clark 
Amy Clark 
Stan Collins 
Melissa Colmenares 
Anna Criddle 
Marvin Crumbie 
Mitch Deminski 
Matt Deminski 
Mickey DiPiero
Heather DiSalvo
Jill Disbro
Heather Dunn 
Aimy Edwards 
Noah Enriquez
Leah Evans  
Ken Fairchild 
Jill Fergus 
Andrew Fleshman 
Jack Gabalski 
Jodee Gallagher 
Deb Garda 
David Gill 
Chuck Gleich 
Mic Gordon 
Julie Gribben 
Teddy Griffin 
Michelle Groff 
Justin Gwinn 
Lynn Hackworth 
Jacob Haines 
Krista Hedges 
Angela Holloway 
Darrell Hunter 
Joan Janning
Keith Jennings 
Amy Kammann
Katie Kline 
Pam Lamonica
Josh Lapp  
Sharon Lightle 
Sue Lusk-Gleich 
Milt Lustnauer 
Betsy Lynch 
Laura Mann 
Ashley Manshum 
Isaiah Marshall 
Anthony Masci 
Jamie Maze 
Jacoby Maze 
Bob McCarthy 
Emma McCarthy 
Gretchen McKay 
Elizabeth Melvin 
Amber Miller 
Andy Mills 
Will Moloney            
Susan Mullenix 
Lorn Mullenix
Jewell Mullikin
Leslie Nartker
Beth Neville
Kathleen Novak
Dominic Novak 
Ed Oliver 
Judah Palnik 
Kathy Panning 
Carl Parnell 
Joe Peffer 
Maggie Peffer 
Lauren Price
Adam Proehl  
Kathleen Radcliff 
Joann Rasmussen
Jennifer Rieser  
Timothy Rice 
John Royer 
Irene Sawyer 
Ryan Schultenover 
Ida Seitter 
Mary Sguerra 
Kathy Shiflet 
Jesse Shkolnik 
Corey Skinner 
Brittnie Smith 
Christina Stropes
Mark Sullivan 
Jill Taylor
Koretta Tennant 
Janet Thiede 
Ermas Thomas 
Buzz Thomas
Peter Tripp  
Jim Troth 
Randy Via
Morgen Wade   
Karin Waterschoot-Perez 
Haley Weaver 
Skip Weiler 
Linda Weiler 
Bobby Weiler 
Carly Weiler 
Michael Weiler 
Mike Whiteman 
Lou Willard 
Chris Wilson 
Graham Wojciechowski 
Jeffrey Woo 
Lizzie Woo 
Ronnie Woodrow 
Melanie Wright
Tonya Young 

For the main project this year, led by co-chairs Kelly Cantwell and Susan Mullenix, Columbus REALTORS® worked on the Long Street corridor in the King Lincoln District of Columbus where volunteers installed 30 planters, created a green space, enhanced an outdoor dining area, and did general clean up along the corridor.

“We worked incredibly hard to improve the outdoor area by creating a lush and vibrant green space this past Wednesday,” said Cantwell, co-chair of the Columbus REALTORS® 2014 REALTOR® Care Day Committee.

“It was great to see the members of the community really appreciated what we were doing – and will be able to enjoy this space with their families,” added Mullenix.

In addition to the main project, 21 area realty associations participated in REALTOR® Care Day attacking projects in Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Pickaway and Madison counties.

Over $37,000 was invested to accomplish the 30 projects which included: 

2014 In-Kind Donations
Americoat Asphalt & Concrete 
Citizen's Land Title 
Currito – Joshua Zimmerman   
Equitable Mortgage - Zach Appleby 
Equity Resources 
Dan Messer, Exceptional 1 Contracting 
Bill Fergus 
First Bexley Bank 
First Ohio Title 
Melissa Friermood 
Cheryl Godard 
Mic Gordon 
Gorilla Dumpsters 
Teddy Griffin 
HER, Realtors®
Patti and Jan Hughes 
Habitation Investigation 
Jimmy Johns - Joshua Zimmerman  
Jane Jones 
Milt Lustnauer 
Betsy Lynch 
Max & Erma's 
Mary Kay - Kathleen Radcliff
Leslie Cady McFadden 
Wil Moloney
Susan Mullenix 
Neighborhood Design Center 
Northwest Title             
Oakland Nursery  
Ohio Tables and Chairs
Quality Mulch 
John Royer
Irene Sawyer  
Mary Sguerra 
Kathy Shiflet 
Stewart Title - Tammy Darst 
Street Sotheby's 
Talon Title 
Janet Thiede 
Talmer Bank and Trust
Tool Library 
True Blue - Tony Ziebel 
Valmer Land Title 
Graham Wojciechowski 

• Columbus – Long Street corridor (King Lincoln District), Franklinton Gardens, Homeless Families Foundation and Heinzerling Foundation
• Bexley – cleaning up major corridors
• Canal Winchester Food Pantry
• Delaware – YMCA and People in Need
• Dublin – Dublin Food Pantry and resident
• Galloway - Madison County Humane Society
• Grove City – Breck and Fryer Parks
• Hilliard – Patches of Light
• Madison County Fairgrounds
• New Albany Historical Society
• Pickaway County – Ashville Community Park
• Pickerington – Echo Manor
• Residents in Clintonville, Dublin, Johnstown, Reynoldsburg, Sunbury, Westerville, Worthington

For more information about REALTOR® Care Day, visit ColumbusRealtors.com/RCD

Additional funding for REALTOR® Care Day was provided by a grant from NeighborWorks America as part of over 300 events nationwide to celebrate NeighborWorks Week. 

During NeighborWorks Week, NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

They rehab and repair homes, paint and landscape properties, conduct neighborhood tours, recognize successful partnerships, and host events that educate, train and inform. 

Homeport HELPS affordability challenges

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Homeport, a nonprofit housing agency, announced today that it is starting a club to promote increased financial stability.  The Homebuyer Education program will serve as an avenue for preparation for home ownership so residents can become and remain successful homeowners.

The organization recently made the decision to have all its counseling advisors certified as Personal Financial Coaches and started the Coaching Club.

A recent survey by NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit affordable housing advocacy, found that almost 70 million working age Americans – approximately one-third – have no emergency savings, and 25 percent only have enough saved to cover 30 days of living expenses including rent or mortgage payments.  More information on the survey results is available at www.nw.org/fincapsurvey.

“Financial education has been essential to me because – by bettering my finances I am able to better my life quality,” said Meesha Sparrow, a Homeport Financial Fitness participant.  “I have less stress because I have a plan.  Being a single woman, it has helped me tremendously having a Homeport Housing Advisor to guide me.  I don’t feel alone anymore when it comes to finances.  It has taught me how to make my money work for me instead of working for my money.”

For the past 26+ years, Homeport has focused its efforts on stabilizing communities and making housing more affordable in Central Ohio.  Homeport provides homes and related services to nearly 15,000 people annually.  In addition to providing families a place to call home, their Community Life Programs and Housing Advisory Center address the underlying social and economic needs facing individuals and families within our neighborhoods.  

Homeport is a private non-profit organization whose mission it is to create and preserve healthy, stable and affordable communities, one neighborhood, one person at a time by:

Nearly 70 million Americans have no emergency savings while nearly one-in-four would run out of money in 30 days, says NeighborWorks America survey

April 8, 2014

Douglas Robinson
202-760-4062; 202-870-3583 cell


Nearly 70 million Americans have no emergency savings while nearly one-in-four would run out of money in 30 days, says NeighborWorks America survey

Washington, DC – Nearly 70 million in America don’t have any emergency savings to withstand a sudden financial shock, while 22 percent of Americans or about 53 million have savings enough only to hang on for a month according to a new consumer survey from NeighborWorks America. Forty percent of consumers say that their cash reserves would last as long as three months, and 28 percent expect their emergency fund to hold them over for a year. In all, sixty-eight percent of consumers say that they’re setting money aside in case of a financial emergency.

The survey results, available at www.nw.org/fincapsurvey, were released today by NeighborWorks America to mark the beginning of financial capability month, call attention to the fragility of many families’ finances nearly five years since the end of the Great Recession, and assess consumers’ interest in nonprofit resources to help them build financial stability.

“These data have to light a fire under all of us who want to see Americans better able to withstand a financial crisis, especially a recession as devastating as the one we’re climbing out of now,” said Eileen M. Fitzgerald, NeighborWorks America CEO. “Our survey underscores the need to provide better tools and information for people to manage the money they do have in order to build a strong financial base.”

The survey also examined the savings goals of Americans. Retirement and buying a home are the top savings goals at 28 percent and 13 percent, respectively, with just five percent of consumers saying that they are currently saving to create a buffer in case of a financial emergency.

Among those surveyed nationally, 29 percent of adults report no emergency savings; of these 43 percent of African-American and 39 percent of Hispanic adults said that they had no emergency savings.

As might be expected, the survey results bore out that the more income a person has, the more likely they are to have built an emergency fund. Just 11 percent of people making $100,000 or more per year said that they had no emergency fund, while more than half (52%) of people earning less than $40,000 said that they had no such reserve. People whose income places them squarely in the middle class also are financially vulnerable, with 24 percent of adults with income between $40-59,000 holding no emergency fund.

“In today’s marketplace, everyone, including those with limited incomes, can set aside some savings for emergencies and work to achieve other financial goals,” explained Fitzgerald. “We are seeing great results for consumers who use a financial coach to help them start saving, reduce debt and work toward financial goals.” 

What NeighborWorks America is doing to reverse the numbers

NeighborWorks America is committed to building consumers’ financial security throughout the country by offering comprehensive training and impact evaluation services for nonprofit professionals to develop and scale financial capability programs in their communities. The nonprofit organizations across the country that NeighborWorks supports, the NeighborWorks Network, are offering financial capability services to help alter these trends, with establishing emergency savings plans being just one component of a full service financial coaching and individual financial capability effort.

Results from a recent national financial capability demonstration project had positive results. The program saw 57 percent of the people who started with zero savings establish a habit of savings, while 48 percent of the people in the program who already had a savings habit increased the amount set aside for emergencies and other goals.

“Our aim in 2014 is to expand our financial capability program by offering training to more coaches in order to reach more individuals,” explained Fitzgerald. “Saving for emergencies is a critical component of being financially stable. Unexpected medical bills, major household repairs and even car repairs could significantly hurt a family’s long term future.”

Financial capability is more than learning about credit. Financial capability can level the economic playing field by offering the information and support that helps consumers reduce debt, increase savings, and reach their financial goals.

About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

# # #

[Source: NeighborWorks America]

Obama Administration Extends Deadline for Making Home Affordable Program

Homeowners can work with Homeport, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency free-of-charge to understand their options and apply for help. Call 614-221-8889 ext 134 for HELP!

Extension through December 2015 Will Provide Struggling Homeowners Additional Time to Access Sustainable Mortgage Relief and Align End Dates for Key Assistance Programs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced an extension of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program through December 31, 2015. The new deadline was determined in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to align with extended deadlines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and the Streamlined Modification Initiative for homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Making Home Affordable Program has been a critical part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive efforts to provide relief to families at risk of foreclosure and help the housing market recover from a historic housing crisis. The program deadline was previously December 31, 2013.

“The housing market is gaining steam, but many homeowners are still struggling,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “Helping responsible homeowners avoid foreclosure is part of our wide-ranging efforts to strengthen the middle class, and Making Home Affordable offers homeowners some of the deepest and most dependable assistance available to prevent foreclosure. Extending the program for two years will benefit many additional families while maintaining clear standards and accountability for an important part of the mortgage industry.”

“The Making Home Affordable Program has provided help and hope to America’s homeowners," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Families across the country have used its tools to reduce their principal, modify their mortgages, fight off foreclosure and stay in their homes - helping further stimulate our housing market recovery. And with this extension, we ensure that the program keeps supporting communities for years to come.”

Since its launch in March 2009, about 1.6 million actions have been taken through the program to provide relief to homeowners and nearly 1.3 million homeowners have been helped directly by the program. The Making Home Affordable Program includes the Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP, which modifies the terms of a homeowner’s mortgage to reduce their monthly payment to prevent foreclosure. As of March 2013, more than 1.1 million homeowners have received a permanent modification of their mortgage through HAMP, with a median savings of $546 every month – or 38 percent of their previous payment. Data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) shows that the median savings for homeowners in HAMP is higher than the median savings for homeowners in private industry modifications, which has helped homeowners in HAMP sustain their mortgage payments at higher rates. As a result, HAMP modifications continue to exhibit lower delinquency and re-default rates than industry modifications.

The Making Home Affordable Program has also put into place important protections for homeowners that have helped inform efforts to create standards for the mortgage servicing industry. This includes requirements for mortgage servicers regarding clear and timely communications with homeowners and protections to ensure that homeowners are evaluated for assistance before being referred to foreclosure. The Administration has issued reports on the program every month since July 2009, which provide the most detailed information available about individual servicer efforts to assist homeowners. As part of this report, Treasury issues a quarterly assessment for each of the largest servicers in the program to highlight their compliance with program requirements.

Homeowners seeking assistance with their mortgage payments should remember that there is never a fee to apply to the Making Home Affordable Program. Homeowners can work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency free-of-charge to understand their options and apply for help. Homeowners should visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for more information about free resources for assistance or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).



OHFA Anticipates Completion of the State's Foreclosure Prevention Program

$101 Million Still Available to Assist Struggling Ohio Homeowners

COLUMBUS – With 80 percent of its allocated funds distributed on behalf of 16,560 Ohio homeowners facing foreclosure, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) today announced plans to bring its Save the Dream Ohio effort to a close during the next year and a half.

Save the Dream Ohio was funded with $570.4 million through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. Since the program's inception in 2010, Ohio has served as a leader among the 18 states and the District of Columbia who received a portion of the funds.

"Throughout the last four years, OHFA and its partners have worked with Treasury to implement and modify the Save the Dream Ohio program to address the state's evolving needs and keep Ohio families in their homes," said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver. "Thanks to the outstanding efforts of housing counseling agencies across the state as well as more than 400 mortgage servicers, this program has made a swift and progressive impact on Ohio's communities."

In addition to the $226 million OHFA distributed, the Agency also committed $75 million to assist Ohio families with ongoing mortgage assistance. With approximately $101 million remaining, the Agency estimates that the program can assist an additional 6,400 homeowners. Based on these projections, OHFA will no longer accept registrations after April 30. OHFA will continue to process completed registrations until July 31. The Agency expects to close all remaining applications in 2015, more than two years ahead of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's 2017 program deadline.

OHFA encourages Ohio homeowners facing default or foreclosure to visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov to learn more about the program, complete a few simple questions to determine eligibility and register. Individuals can also register by calling the toll-free Save the Dream Ohio hotline at 888-404-4674.

In August, the Agency announced approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to utilize up to $60 million of uncommitted program funds to assist with preventing foreclosures and stabilizing local property values through the removal of blighted and vacant properties. OHFA will announce the results of the first round of funding for the Neighborhood Initiative Program on February 28.

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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.


Don’t wait another minute. Homeport can help YOU now – even if you have missed several payments or have received foreclosure documents. Foreclosure prevention counseling is available for individuals and families who have fallen behind with their mortgage payments. The goal is to provide the information and tools necessary to maintain home ownership by identifying the cause of default or delinquency, intervention strategies, and reviewing budgeting skills. Financial assistance is available through the Ohio Home Rescue Fund for those who qualify.

Call 614-221-8889 ext 134 to discuss this or other programs.

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Every dollar of your support will be matched  dollar for dollar by generous donors who have pledged to double your impact. Become a Homeport Champion and more low income kids, families and seniors will have better lives because of decent, safe and affordable homes, plus essential services that help provide a pathway out of poverty. Below are examples of how your gift helps others.  Please know that your investment during The Challenge Match DOUBLES its impact on the people we serve.

Your generous gift will help a child, a family, or an elderly Homeport neighbor improve the quality of their life. Here are examples of what your gift will do: 

  • THE ARMY OF A THOUSAND -$25 – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar 
    Combine your gift with 999 of your neighbors to ensure that the kids of Homeport have continued access where they live to after school and summer programming that provides academic and life skill enrichment in a safe environment preparing each child for success. 
  •  IT’S ELECTRIC - $50  – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar
    Provides a low income senior living in a Homeport Senior Community with access to transportation services for a year helping them maintain their independence. 
  • GROUND BREAKERS -$100  – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar
     Provides a low income family or senior with essential household and personal items everyone needs for a year.  Residents often come to our communities without basic items important for day to day living.  
  • BRICK LAYERS - $250  – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar
    Teaches residents in a Homeport community how to work together with their neighbors to build a sense of pride and ownership that reduces crime.
  • FOUNDATION BUILDERS - $500  – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar 
    Provides 1 -1 Financial/Budget Counseling to one person/family to enable them to successfully manage their scarce resources. 
  • FRAMING THE ISSUE -$1,000 – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar
    Provides foreclosure prevention counseling sessions to one family to help them save their home from foreclosure and successfully move forward toward financial stability.
  • RAISE THE ROOF -$2,000 – Your gift is matched dollar for dollar 
    Annually provides a child in a Homeport rental community with free after school and summer enrichment activities that include a nutritious meal, tutoring and mentoring that ensures they are safe, engaged, and school ready. 

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