Mayville, NY – The office of Congressman Brian Higgins is pleased to announce that Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation, a member of the national NeighborWorks network, is receiving $46,768 in flexible grants from NeighborWorks America, a capacity building boost for CHRIC as the local NeighborWorks Organization. Working together, NeighborWorks and CHRIC will be responsible for expending an additional $75,000 in funding to be reinvested in local communities to create more economic development and affordable housing opportunities for Chautauqua County citizens.
"NeighborWorks America was created by Congress nearly 30 years ago with the mission of community building through partnerships with locally focused agencies," said Congressman Higgins. "These federal funds will help CHRIC continue the good work they do in neighborhoods across Chautauqua County, in part, by turning abandoned houses into owner-occupied homes."
In 2007, NeighborWorks America will provide over $75 million in grants to its national network of 236 nonprofit organizations including CHRIC. The grants will be used to help NeighborWorks Organization produce and manage affordable, high-quality rental properties, empower consumers through financial literacy and homeownership education and counseling, help stem the tide of foreclosures that threaten neighborhoods and local economies, and to revitalize and strengthen communities they serve.
The NeighborWorks network has been able to:
• Invest over $12 billion in America's urban, rural, and suburban communities in the last five years alone;
• Rehabilitate more than 25,000 owner-occupied housing and rental properties in the last year.
• Educate and counsel homeowners, reducing mortgage default rates among clients by 30 percent, and educating more than 570,000 homebuyers;
• Forge private-sector partnerships that revitalize communities and provide affordable rental housing and development loans;
Chautauqua County’s NeighborWorks organization, CHRIC, helps low and moderate-income residents in the county move to homeownership, makes needed repairs on homes owned by low and moderate-income residents, reduces the risk of Lead Based Paint poisoning in rental units in partnership with the Chautauqua County Health Department, makes vehicle grants and loans to lower-income workers, acquires, rehabs and re-sells vacant and foreclosed houses, builds ramps and makes home adaptations for the elderly and disabled, and has operated two Youthbuild programs for at-risk youth in Dunkirk and Jamestown.
CHRIC Executive Director, John Murphy, said this year’s capital allocation will be invested in Jamestown. “ We are going to use the allocation of capital to fund the rehabilitation of vacant housing in a partnership with the city of Jamestown and an active resident organization called PRIDE. CHRIC has purchased a vacant property in the PRIDE neighborhood, and will invest NeighborWorks funding in the rehabilitation of a single-family home for re-sale to an income-eligible family,” Murphy said. “Every time you bring a vacant property back on-line, the property value of all the surrounding housing goes up. It’s a great neighborhood revitalization strategy. We’re pleased to extend our efforts beyond the Jamestown Youthbuild houses we’ve worked on in the city, and to continue to work in partnership with Mayor Teresi, the City Council, the Department of Development, and with Jamestown residents as we extend our efforts into the north side of Jamestown,” Murphy continued.
CHRIC was organized through the Chautauqua County Department of Planning in 1978, and was chartered as a NeighborWorks organization in January 2003. The housing non-profit has offices in Mayville, NY, with all of Chautauqua County is its service area.