In recognition of National Homeownership Month, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency Board presented the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation with the 2014 Spirit of Homeownership Excellence Award.
The award was created by OHFA to highlight quality initiatives that promote homeownership opportunities and accessibility across the state. Entries are judged on a number of factors including innovation, length of program, geographical reach, coordination with local, state and/or national partners and the project's ability to be replicated.
The YNDC was selected for its Community Loan Fund program, which provides first-mortgage financing in under served communities to encourage revitalization and economic recovery in transitional Youngstown neighborhoods.
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In addition to the financing, the CLF program provides buyers with services including financial training, resource coordination and property repair. To date, 54 Ohioans, comprising 18 families have purchased homes through the CLF program.
The fund helps families become homeowners and makes a positive impact on the city by reducing crime and blight. For example, in Youngstown's Idora neighborhood where 12 homes were financed by the loan, vacancy was reduced from 26 percent in 2007 to 7 percent in 2013.