Investing in Northern Rhode Island
A team for NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
"Investing in Northern Rhode Island" a team to help the NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley...
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This is the official page for NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley for Giving Tuesday. Please give through this page ON DECEMBER 2nd to help us earn bonus grants from Razoo that will be put directly towards providing affordable housing in Northern Rhode Island. Donations made through this page will count toward the bonus cash grants that New Hope Housing can earn as top fundraiser for today- the top prize is $15,000. With your help we can do great things!
The Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation (WNDC) – or as it is now called, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) – is a nonprofit community developement coorporation that works with residents, businesses, neighborhood institutions, partners and communities to enrich neighborhood life and make affordable housing opportunities available throughout Northern Rhode Island. We are a small but powerful non-profit. We have HUD housing across Northern Rhode Island, two youth centers, community gardens, and an up and coming business incubator.
Since the organization began in 1987, we have developed 338 affordable apartments, 55 homes for ownership by low-income families, 16,550 square feet of community facilities and 34,200 square feet of commercial space. We also have approximately 183 units (rental, mixed use and homeownership) in our pipeline.
Our homership Center, which was built in 2006, is a one-stop shop for education and financial planning programs. Families are prepared with classes, expert speakers, and one-on-one coaching sessions so they have the knowledge and financial strength to make wise choices as they move toward purchasing a home. With regular follow-up, we provide counseling and information to help them protect their hard-earned equity and remain successful homeowners for years to come. In 2013, the Center opened 325 new cases (mortgage default prevention counseling, financial and credit coaching, and homebuyer education classes combined), graduated 209 from home buyer education, created 60 new homeowners after taking our Home Buyer Education courses, served over 200 clients at risk of foreclosure, and assisted 300 customers with credit and financial coaching. That same year, we were also named as a NeighborWorks America pilot site for a new program that helped revamp and ramp up service provision for 2014-2015.
Asset Management, which became a business line in 2009, better monitors the financial health and sustainability of our rental housing portfolio. This oversight also assures that our rental developments are community resources that serve to strengthen the neighborhoods where they are located and contribute to neighborhood stability, marketability and ambiance. It is also the goal of the program to assure that residents have stable housing options over the long term—this goal has a significant impact on health and academic success. In late 2011, the department began an eviction prevention program that has reduced turnover, increased collections, and helped better connect tenants with community resources. The average monthly demand balance for the organization has continued to see reductions for the past four quarters displaying the usefulness of this program to our organization. The organization also spearheads a statewide effort to standardize asset management practices.
Finally, our Community Engagement activities build individual and community social capital through programs such as an afterschool program, a college prep program, 6 Community Builders-In-Residence, community planning forums, crime prevention partnerships, community gardens, a legislative initiative to combat predatory lending, and annual events. Youth programming has resulted in 98% of high school seniors in the program moving on to college each year. The department also engages volunteers resulting in thousands of volunteer hours devoted annually to neighborhood improvement efforts.
Our efforts have been widely recognized in the State and throughout the Region by setting a standard for comprehensive community development that breaks down the silos that often thwarts true impact across sectors.