|By Brittany Hutson, NeighborWorks |
America Public Relations fellow
Though rehabilitation is the organization’s largest line of business, CHRIC also offers foreclosure and homeownership counseling, lending, and has been involved in historic preservation and downtown community development projects, including a five-year rehabilitation project on a lighthouse situated on Lake Erie in the city of Dunkirk.
|A property before rehabilitation|
|After CHRIC performed rehab work|
CHRIC’s dedication to rehabilitation has made a difference in the lives of numerous local families. For example, the organization received a home through donation in 1998. The home was one of CHRIC’s rehab projects and in 2008, the organization was able to place a family of eight in the home after counseling through CHRIC’s Home Buyers Club. “This was a family who really had been experiencing pretty severe housing needs,” says Jim Goodling, executive director from late 2011 to January 2013. He also recalls assisting a family in which the father worked full time as a janitor and the mother stayed at home to tend to her two mentally and physically disabled girls. Through their counseling program, CHRIC helped the family become homeowners and reduce their monthly expenditures. “That’s indicative of the kind of work that we do.”
CHRIC’s rehabilitation service is in high demand these days and it has been challenging to keep up with requests. “There are nearly 465 families on our waiting list,” says Goodling. “We can address only a small part of those requests in any given year.” Funding is one of the biggest constraints. However, Goodling believes that being a charter member of NeighborWorks has been helpful to CHRIC. Funding from NeighborWorks, along with other federal sources and state contributions, has enabled CHRIC to undertake its “buy, rehab, and sell” housing program. Funding has also provided a basis for their loan and mortgage programs.
Learn more about CHRIC at http://www.chric.org/