Webster Bank Awards CRA Grant to NOAH

By John Lynds

East Boston’s Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) received a boost for its housing services last week from Webster Bank.

NOAH was a recipient of a $3,500 Community Reinvestment Act grant from Webster Bank. The money was part of $40,000 in Community Development grants to 11 Boston-area based nonprofits.

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 pleased to be a recipient of funds from Webster Bank,” said Giffee. “We agree with them that our work improves the ability of families to improve their personal and family wealth through counseling and perhaps a purchase of a home. We are grateful for their interest in our work and in our community.”

Webster, 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 Peter Mosbacher, senior vice president, Community Development.

“Webster has firmly established itself as a leader in community development and reinvestment in all the communities we do business in,” said Mosbacher,  “These awards provide the foundation for broader, more far-reaching relationships with these nonprofits and the people they 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, Mosbacher 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.

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