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TMCNet:  NeighborWorks America Brings Individuals and Families

[December 20, 2012]

NeighborWorks America Brings Individuals and Families "Home for the Holidays"

WASHINGTON, Dec 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- As the holidays approach, many individuals and families across the nation who are "home for the holidays" -- as homeowners or in affordable rental homes -- are there because of the work of NeighborWorks America and its network of affiliated organizations. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks organizations offer critical on-the-ground services to potential homeowners, providing assistance and serving as stewards to responsible homeownership. NeighborWorks through its organizations also works to create stronger communities by creating and managing affordable rental homes.

The following are examples of the consumers NeighborWorks organizations have served in the homeownership and rental process: -- Daniel and Monique Hernandez (Phoenix, AZ) started looking to purchase a home more than 2 years ago but after several false starts their realtor and lender recommended they call NeighborWorks organization NHS Phoenix for help. With the assistance of NHS Phoenix counselors they were able to find a home they could afford. Daniel and Monique and their two children will spend this holiday season in their brand new home. They look forward to having a large space for their family to visit. "We always wanted the stability and security of homeownership," said Daniel. "Being able to say we're proud homeowners has been a long time coming, and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of NHS Phoenix." -- Justin Kunesh and Mary Beth Kressin (Milwaukee, WI) recently moved into their new home with Select Milwaukee's assistance. "We love not just our house but what we are creating inside and outside of it," the couple said. The couple worked closely with a homeownership specialist at Select Milwaukee to buy a foreclosed property in July and then with a rehab specialist who helped coordinate and oversee a two month lung renovation project totaling $65,000. With capital from NeighborWorks(R) Capital Funding for the Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing (CFRAH), Select Milwaukee's Renew GREEN energy efficiency improvements program provided a $15,000 loan, with a projected average annual energy savings of 30%. After completing all major rehab and construction work, the couple moved into their home in September. "Select Milwaukee helped our dream become reality," the couple said.

-- Savette Taylor (Wilmington, DE), a single parent with 2 children, nearly lost her home to foreclosure before NeighborWorks organization Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. provided assistance. After two car accidents, Savette was unable to work and started to fall behind in paying bills. Savette valued the one-on-one foreclosure prevention education and counseling her housing counselor provided. "I really feel comfortable knowing that I have someone to reach out to that can help, guide me and put me in the right direction," said Savette. Working with Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc. helped her stay in her home. She is excited to spend the holidays at home, and have her financial challenges behind her. "I host Thanksgiving and Christmas every year at my house for my entire family -- my mother, my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins -- and the house is full," said Savette.

-- Darryl Perry (Silver Spring, MD), recently divorced and a U.S. Navy veteran, got a fresh start in an affordable rental home, close to public transportation, where his daughter can visit him regularly. Father and daughter now spend quality time cooking in their new kitchen and will be "home for the holidays".

"NeighborWorks America is committed to creating responsible homeownership and making sure that safe, decent affordable rental homes are available," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "The NeighborWorks network of nonprofits provides critical on-the-ground knowledge of local communities, as well as best practices. We want everyone to be home, especially during the holiday season." In the last year, the NeighborWorks network assisted 260,000 households with housing needs, provided 93,000 individuals and families with homeownership education, owned and managed 96,000 rental homes, and created nearly 14,000 homeowners.

For more about NeighborWorks America, go to www.nw.org.

To locate a NeighborWorks organization, go to http://www.nw.org/network/Utilities/NWOLookup.asp.

About NeighborWorks America For nearly 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.

The NeighborWorks America logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/ pkgid=15144 CONTACT: Lindsay Moore, lmoore@nw.org, 202-220-6317 http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/23010/small/16075.jpg <p>(Logo: http://media.primezone.com/cache/23010/int/16075.jpg) (Logo: http://media.primezone.com/cache/23010/int/16075.jpg) http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ti nf=MTMjMTAwMTYzNTUjMjMwMTA=

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