The East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) received a boost for its housing services last week from Webster Bank.
NOAH was a recipient of a $5,000 Community Reinvestment Act grant from Webster Bank. The money was part of $61,500 to 13 organizations in Greater Boston.
NOAH Executive Director Phil Giffee said the grant money will be used to sure up NOAH’s first-time homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling programs.
“NOAH is very grateful for this much-needed donation to help fund our first-time homebuyer, financial fitness and foreclosure prevention programs,” said Giffee. “These services do not pay for themselves and one cannot charge for what the services are actually worth, but with assistance from Webster Bank, our high-quality staff can offer expert assistance and advice without a client fear there is another agenda in play. Webster helps us reach hundreds of people and families each year. We appreciate it.”
Webster Bank, through its Community Reinvestment Act program, is committed to building strong communities by supporting economic and community development organizations, especially those that focus on affordable and supportive housing, said Debra Drapalla, regional president–Boston, Webster Bank
“The annual CRA grant program is a key component of Webster’s mission to support low- and moderate-income residents across the Boston area and build stronger communities,” said Drapalla. “Webster has become a part of the fabric of the Boston community, and we work diligently to live up to the people and local organizations we serve.”
Webster also provides construction loans, tax credit investments, and technical assistance to community organizations, while Webster employees serve as board members and volunteers for many nonprofit groups within the bank’s footprint, Drapalla added.
NOAH has continuously run a successful first-time homebuyer program for years. These homebuyer education classes provide a comprehensive overview of the necessary steps towards purchasing a home. NOAH’s staff and a wide variety of guest speakers educate clients on how to locate, finance, and buy property. Graduates of these classes receive certificates from the City of Boston, which allows them to apply for better loans, helps them with down payment assistance, and gives them overall greater credibility when buying their first home.
Since the 2008 housing market crash that crippled the U.S. economy, NOAH added a foreclosure prevention counseling program for residents.
The goal of this program has been to help those homeowners facing foreclosure understand their options and determine the best and most affordable solution for their own situation. NOAH’s counselors work with clients one-on-one to develop an action plan based on individual needs, create budgets, contact lenders and negotiate mortgage terms.