CSNDC continues its work to help stabilize communities and households affected by foreclosure, and was able to save 57 households in the past year. During this time, CSNDC has exceeded its targets in making home purchases affordable in its work administered through NeighborWorks America. CSNDC also became a HUD counseling agency as the sole grantee of NeighborWorks America.
In the past year, CSNDC faced the changes in neighborhood home foreclosure rates by positioning its role in foreclosure prevention through financial education.
Support has been received to restart Neighborhood Operational Works Plan––to pilot home ownership classes and home buyer education. Additionally, CSNDC wants to broaden its outreach for these classes by holding separate English- and Spanish-language classes to interested participants. CSNDC has seen the need for Spanish-language home ownership classes emerge from input from Latino residents in its service area who have voiced their interest in home ownership. CSNDC will be launching a pilot program to work with the Latino community from among its constituencies to help end displacement of para-Latino renters in the area through home ownership.
Also, another Post-Purchase Program will be offered again with an updated curriculum. Classes are developed to help homeowners to become better managers of their home assets. The updated curriculum in this series will include aspects of green and eco-innovation components now that that area is up and moving forward at CSNDC.
CSNDC is preparing to submit an application for designation as a NeighborWorks America Green Organization. The designation will allow CSNDC to receive committed support from the organization for its sustainable operations to connect and educate households in its communities with the financial, social, and environmental benefits of green homes and housing practices.
Financial education continues to be offered in partnership with STRIVE, a local social service agency. This particular program focuses on job readiness and re-entry programs for CORI participants. How many participants were there is the past year? What is the total number to date? How long are the financial literacy class sessions––2, 3, 4 weeks, etc.? What areas of financial education do classes cover? What is the curriculum?
Last fall CSNDC participated in training with Community Housing Works in San Diego, CA to observe the programming on site to better understand the functions of agency and community resources side to reshape financial education programs, build community leadership, and role in financial leadership for the agency and its cultivation within the community.
Some of the take aways from San Diego training visit:
• Demonstrated how to better tell the story of impact––to not just know financial programming exists and is being served, but to importantly understand the broader “so what” of engaging folks in financial education.
• Confirmed CSNDC’s position to remain connected with people as an anchor agency in the community as its work moves forward and evolves in response to immediate and changing needs.
• Showed that the ability to envision and create real-life applications from financial education classes can be built and how CSNDC can build it for teaching its participants.
In other work, CSNDC is excited to report that it is in the final stages of selecting a new Director of Economic Development who will bring business development and job creation skills into the agency as a core area for its work in responding to the needs and support of community members, to strengthen small businesses, forge connections with CORR and STRIVE, connecting with Men of Color, and with those having CORI issues.
Job development will be a major focus of the work of this position––to ensure local residents have local jobs; to work to keep residents where they live; to create viable income sources; and to define the meaning of broadening sustainability to achieve it locally.
Similarly, CSNDC will be filling its position in Small Business Development to strengthen the agency’s role in housing rehabilitation lending work to provide current home owners access to home-repair programs and benefits, such as providing gap resources for eco-retrofitting.
As an outgrowth of CSNDC’s achievements in the past year, the United Way is planning an RFP for Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) which will provide funding for projects moving into financial education and workforce development.