The Future of Housing: Economic growth and opportunity for all
By Natalie Abatemarco, Managing Director, Citi Community Development July 11, 2012 12:30 PM
The NCLR Lead the Way conference, which several of my Citi colleagues and I attended this week, is a great opportunity to meet friends and colleagues and discuss issues that are important to our nation's economically vulnerable families and communities. On Monday, I was privileged to participate in "Don't Quit the Dream: A Vision for Homeownership Beyond 2012," a town hall along with leaders from the government and nonprofit sectors. Like Citi, each of them is committed to achieving long-term affordable homeownership, particularly for low- and moderate-income families.
Largely due to the leadership and ingenuity of many of the panelists, conference attendees and other leaders like them, distressed homeowners and communities across the country are benefitting from innovative programs and assistance. These programs directly address the economic realities and hardships facing people today.
Not only is Citi working to develop products and services that work for our customers, Citi's Office of Homeownership Preservation helps meet the needs of first-time homebuyers and homeowners in need of support to stay in their homes. In addition, Citi Community Development and the Citi Foundation collaborate with local and national housing-focused nonprofits to build their capacity and meet community needs.
One example of this is Citi Community Development's new collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners, a leading provider of development capital and expertise in the affordable housing space. Our commitment will enable Enterprise to offer debt counseling and training in budgeting skills to ensure that renters are able to sustain their rent payments. At the same time, they will strengthen their credit to build solid financial futures for themselves and their families and put themselves on a path to homeownership. Citi's contribution is a key element of an initiative that will also build an impact investment fund of $20 million to purchase, renovate, and lease up to 100 single-family homes in distressed neighborhoods in Oakland, California.
I was fortunate to join our Enterprise and Waypoint Homes partners at the recent Clinton Global Initiative America convening where this commitment was announced, and I was energized by the dedication among the private, nonprofit and public sectors to develop collaborative, scalable solutions, such as this one for economic recovery and neighborhood revitalization in the United States (you can watch the video from the event here: https://youtu.be/9V7hTfiIQlw). A similar energy pervaded the NCLR Lead the Way Conference this week, and I am excited by how we can shape the future - together - to ensure that affordable homeownership remains accessible to as many Americans as possible.