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Grant will help prevent foreclosures

Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield received a $111,500 grant last week from the NeighborWorks America program, which will be used to promote affordable housing and help families avoid foreclosure in Clark County.

The agency received approximately $95,000 last year, so last week’s grant is a large increase, according to NHP executive director Tina Koumoutsos.

“Annually, we can apply for this funding, but it’s never a guarantee, it’s never a promise,” Koumoutsos said. “It’s based on your performance and your plan for the next year, so we’re pleased.”

NHP has an approximately $700,000 operating budget, making the new money vital, Komoutsos said. The organization also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grant funds and private foundations. NHP also serves as the city’s community housing development organization.

The money will be used to continue its programs, Koumoutsos said, which includes homebuyer prevention, credit counseling and an emergency home repair program, among others.

“It goes across the board,” Komoutsos said. “It’s critical.”

NHP is one of eight grant recipients in Ohio, totaling approximately $1.9 million.

“Ohio is on the front line of the foreclosure crisis,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Youngstown) in a press release. “Foreclosures hurt the credit of American families, depress local property values and weaken communities. These funds will help families stay in their homes and prevent further damage to Clark County neighborhoods.”

NeighborWorks America is a federal partnership between community, public and private stakeholders, which helps families avoid foreclosure.

NHP contributed approximately $43 million to the local economy over the last five years, according to study released last year. The organization also generated approximately $5 million in tax revenue during that period, sustaining 74 jobs each year and $12 million worth of income for local employees, according to the study.

The agency also serves as a full-cycle lender, meaning it can provide more support services than traditional lenders.

NHP offers services to a six-county region covering Clark, Champaign, Greene, Logan, Auglaize and Putnam counties.

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