Thursday, September 1, 2005

Nashville's Puertas Abiertas wins national homeownership innovation award

Puertas Abiertas ("Open Doors"), a homeownership project spearheaded by Nashville non-profit organization Conexion Americas, has won a national award for homeownership innovation from NeighborWorks America, according to this press release:

Washington, D.C. – NeighborWorks America today announced national honors for four organizations that developed creative and cost-effective approaches to help families of modest means attain homeownership. NeighborWorks made the announcement at the Washington, D.C. NeighborWorks Training Institute, the nation’s premier community development and training program for professionals and community leaders.

“Innovation is key to putting homeownership within reach of people who may not know they can afford to buy a home,” says NeighborWorks CEO Ken Wade. “The four organizations receiving honors have figured out creative ways to put people on a path to homeownership, and in so doing, have opened a new chapter in the lives of people who may never thought they could own a home of their own,” says Wade. “I’m extremely pleased to have such creative people working for the cause of affordable housing,” says Wade.

The four categories and winners in those categories are:


Best Innovative Partnership Other: Puertas Abiertas/Open Doors program showcases how partnerships successfully adapt to changing market conditions and exercise their collective ability to help Latino families realize their aspirations to become homeowners. Puertas Abiertas is a strategic partnership of Nashville, Tennessee, partners Conexión Américas and other non-profit organizations with three financial institutions which created a loan program using specialized underwriting for the immigrant Latino community. In two years, the program created 70 new homeowners and $8 million in loans.


The Innovations in Homeownership Contest identifies and recognizes creative, cost-effective strategies and approaches that nonprofit housing organizations use to promote homeownership to underserved communities. Four awards are given each year through the gracious support of the MetLife Foundation. The NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling (NCHEC) and the NeighborWorks Campaign for Home Ownership jointly sponsor the contest. Since 1993, the Campaign has assisted over 90,000 new homeowners, counseled more than 500,000 families and promoted investments of more than $8 billion. NCHEC is the largest national training and certification provider for the housing education and counseling industry, assisting more than 2,000 practitioners annually, who reach millions of households seeking homeownership opportunities.

NeighborWorks America provides financial support, technical assistance and training for communities across the nation, including the NeighborWorks network – a nationwide network of more than 235 community development organizations working in more than 2,700 urban, suburban and rural communities across America. These organizations engage in revitalization strategies that strengthen communities and transform lives. In the last five years alone, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $8.5 billion in reinvestment and helped more than 500,000 families of modest means purchase or improve their homes or secure safe, decent rental or mutual housing."

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