Irene Hausgen is just one of the many people who have benefitted from home ownership and housing rehabilitation efforts of the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC).
A new report from NECAC funding partner NeighborWorks America shows that in the last four years, NECAC has taken an initial start-up grant of $1 million and leveraged an additional $52.8 million.
NECAC has invested that money in programs that help people buy homes, renovate existing houses and offer counseling about the homeownership process.
Hausgen is retired and says she could not have otherwise afforded the weatherization upgrades that dramatically cut her utility bills.
"Thanks to your programs and your dedicated workers, I am confident that my home is secure and won’t require any major work the rest of my life," Hausgen said.
The numbers speak for themselves. With the $1,032,200 in NeighborWorks grants received during the last four years, NECAC has leveraged $52,813,987 in additional dollars for housing efforts. Among other projects, the money was used to:
Help 295 families become homeowners
Upgrade the homes of 712 people
Build or preserve 78 rental homes
Provide counseling to 1,855 people
NECAC Deputy Director for Housing Development Programs Carla Potts said the report shows reinvested housing funding is helping clients.
"These dollars translate into new houses, new communities and brighter tomorrows," she said. "We are helping communities increase their tax bases. Nothing could be better than helping someone make their housing dreams come true, and we’ve been able to do that on an increasing basis. We continue to grow."
"This is pretty amazing," Potts said. "To leverage those kinds of dollars is really good for a rural agency."
NeighborWorks is a Congressionally-chartered non-profit organization that assists communities with development efforts.
NECAC has been heavily involved in housing programs for more than 20 years. The agency is nationally recognized for being at the forefront of housing and homeownership opportunities.
Since 1997, NECAC has been a partner in the construction, renovation, management or planned development of 1,300 homes and apartments for the elderly, families, the disabled and veterans.
Homeownership classes teach participants about financing, mortgages, understanding credit, record-keeping, meeting with financial institutions and other topics. NECAC also continues to take and process USDA Rural Development 502 Direct Home Loan Program applications.
"The bottom line is we’re here to help," Potts said. "We will do everything we can to make our clients successful homeowners."
More information about NECAC homeownership and rehabilitation programs is available by calling 573-324-6622.