THANK YOU! NeighborWorks Boise (NWB) greatly appreciates the vast amount of support that we have received from the community in the past six months. We are overcome with gratitude for the helpful advice, funding, partnership opportunities, and volunteerism that has come our way. Just a quarter of the way into 2016, and NWB is already experiencing successful outcomes from this support, allowing us to offer sustainable housing solutions to more of our neighbors.
It is important to share outcomes with our supporters because our success is your success. Here is an overview of the amazing things that are going on in our organization.
This past month, NeighborWorks America® (NWA), our national affiliate, awarded NWB $95,000 in grant funds for general operations as well as our annual efforts in Community Building and Stabilization, Strategic Planning, and the NeighborWorks Green Organization practices throughout our organization.
NWB is especially grateful to Chad Klawetter, Steve Barbier and Gary Wolfe, our NWA regional relationship managers, who consistently provide sound advice, funding opportunities and advocacy.
Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Single Family Homes Program
So far this year, NWB has also received $20,000 from The Lightfoot Foundation and $10,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation for our Acq/Rehab Program. Through this program, NWB changes abandoned and neglected properties into safe, decent homes with energy-saving improvements for low- to moderate- income (LMI) residents.
We have recently expanded our acq/rehab efforts to the surrounding town of Nampa, and have already sold two homes there in 2016. One of our newest homeowners is a single mother of three children who was finally able to purchase a home through NWB after previously being out-bid three different times by investors. Now each of her boys can enjoy their very own room.
NWB has received notice of two grant awards in 2016 for our Mortgage Lending department – $100,000 in loan capital funds from NeighborWorks America®, and a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Meridian. Our Mortgage Lending Program provides second mortgage loans in tandem with our partner lenders’ first mortgages. By layering loans, NWB can leverage capital funding to offer qualifying LMI buyers the resources to become successful homeowners.
Our Homeownership Lending Director regularly teams up with our Homeownership Programs Director, who is responsible for NWB Coaching and Counseling efforts, in marketing and outreach endeavors. In 2016, they have already made nearly 35 new connections for the organization. With help from one of NWB’s long-time partners, Idaho Central Credit Union, we recently helped a family of five become homeowners!
NWB empowers families and individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to experience sustainable tenancy and homeownership through the following services: Rental Counseling, Homebuyer Education, Foreclosure Prevention Counseling, Pre-purchase Counseling, and Financial Fitness Coaching.
Over the past year, this department has been reinvigorated with numerous new partnerships, resulting in the ability to reach more clients who need our services. One of our new partners, Jannus enables us to offer our Homebuyer Education seminars in multiple languages to refugees and immigrants – including NWB’s tenants – seeking to become educated homeowners. A refugee family of seven, who are former residents of NWB’s affordable rental units, received our Rental Counseling. This led to an opportunity to help build their own home this past January through another new partner, Habitat for Humanity. With Jannus’ translation assistance, the family was able to take NWB’s Homebuyer Education course, which introduced them to additional resources that helped them get a matching down payment assistance grant and a first-time homebuyer’s grant.
Affordable Rental Units with Resident Services
We recently started offering the residents at our affordable rental apartment communities Rental Counseling that has benefitted 21 families so far. Our 278 affordable rental units in Boise and Nampa serve LMI families – including 3 transitional units for the homeless. Residents benefit from ESL classes, free after-school programs, new winter clothing for children, community gardens, and other educational opportunities.
New this year, we are offering free after-school activities – including the Idaho Foodbank’s 12-week, Cooking Matters course – to the children at our Gateway Crossing apartments in Nampa. NWB would not be as successful at serving the people at Gateway Crossing if it weren’t for Everett, one of our most dedicated volunteers. Everett volunteers his time gathering donations from local businesses and organization for our Gateway residents. He spends time cooking dinners for them and playing with the children. We are thankful for his committed volunteerism!
Rake Up Boise™ experienced success in November, with nearly 6,000 volunteers who raked a record number of yards – almost 800! Paint The Town™ and Rake Up Boise™, two of the largest volunteer events in the Northwest, revitalize homes and yards for senior and disabled Treasure Valley homeowners who have no means to do it themselves.
These events are so rewarding for both the recipients and volunteers. Years ago, Beverly, now an 84-year old woman, helped paint a home for Paint The Town™. This year, we were able to give back to her by restoring both her home and pride of homeownership!
Our Paint The Town™ Kickoff event is coming up on May 21st at Sherwin Williams in Meridian. It will be a fun, family-friendly event with food, activities, and sponsor booths, and will also serve as our distribution point where painting teams can pick up their paint and supplies.
Single Family Development and Homebuilding
In the last quarter of 2015, NWB received a $100,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation to help lower costs of sensibly-priced, single family homes in our newest pocket neighborhood development in Boise’s Vista Neighborhood. This funding will give more low- and moderate- income families and individuals an opportunity to become homeowners.
On March 14th, a team of hard-working volunteers from Wells Fargo helped us prepare the lot on which these homes will be built. This event also served as the check presentation ceremony, where we were honored to have guest speakers such as AnaMarie Guiles with the City’s Energize Our Neighborhood Initiative; Connie Hogland, NWB’s founder; and Robert Falco, Wells Fargo’s Southern Idaho Area President.
In January, NWB also received a $240,000 grant award from Idaho Housing and Finance Association, helping fund the construction of two of our new, single family units to be built in one of our pocket neighborhoods in Garden City.
Buyers are steadily showing interest in these close-in, new construction and energy-efficient homes. Rita, a woman in her sixties and one of NWB’s own staff members, never thought she would be able to purchase a home due to past credit issues. However, by attending our Homeownership Education and Counseling Programs, Rita was able to clear up her credit and purchase one of our new urban cottages just in time for the New Year!
Thanks to our dedicated supporters and partners, NWB has been building momentum over the past six months, and we are excited to see what the next six months have to offer!
NOW is the perfect time to join us in our mission to create innovative housing solutions for our underserved neighbors by becoming a partner, volunteer, sponsor or donor. Together, we can work toward making our communities healthy and stable, one home at a time.
For more information about NeighborWorks Boise programs, visit our website at www.nwboise.org or call 343-4065.