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Empowering Immigrant Homeowners in South Pittsburgh
 
This month, NWWPA launched a new program focused on helping immigrant families in South Pittsburgh and the South Hills to achieve homeownership. With support from Brentwood Bank and the BNY Mellon Corporation, NWWPA is offering financial education workshops, homebuyer education classes, and one-on-one counseling to South Pittsburgh and South Hills residents, with targeted outreach to Bhutanese refugees. In this initiative, we are excited to partner with Economic Development South (EDS), South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM), and the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP).
 
Despite challenges to the housing market in recent years, homeownership remains the “American Dream” for both native and foreign-born families alike. For immigrants in particular, making the transition from renter to homeowner represents a significant investment in their new home. However, many immigrants and first-generation Americans face serious barriers to homeownership including lack of savings, poor or no credit history, and a lack of familiarity with U.S. financial institutions and traditional banking – challenges that are further exacerbated by language and cultural barriers. This program will help both immigrants and longtime residents to take advantage of economic opportunities and pursue personal financial goals, including home, business, and property ownership, which will have an economic multiplier effect throughout South Pittsburgh and the South Hills. 
 
Homebuyer education classes and financial literacy workshops will be offered in conjunction with BCAP and at SHIM’s Prospect Park Community Center in Whitehall. One-on-one credit and budget counseling will be available on-site at 212 Brownsville Rd. every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:00 – 4:00. NWWPA classes and counseling cover everything from credit to closing, preparing prospective homebuyers to purchase a home in their community of choice. For many Bhutanese immigrants, the community of choice continues to be South Pittsburgh.
 
 
This Mt. Oliver home is the first to be rehabbed by EDS and RTP
 
As part of the program, NWWPA will work with Economic Development South to prepare prospective homebuyers to purchase homes in Mount Oliver and Knoxville, where EDS is working in partnership with Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh to provide high quality, affordable, for-sale housing. “Unless a community addresses the most pressing issues among the least able in our communities, we cannot achieve authentic success.  NWWPA is an essential organization to partner with if a community is truly concerned about accessing the tools and resources necessary for the residents to achieve independence and sustainability," says Jason Tigano, Director of Real Estate for EDS. Two homes in Mount Oliver are expected to be renovated and ready for purchase within the next six months.
 

Brentwood Bank presents a check in support of the South
Pittsburgh Immigrant Homeownership Program

 
This program is made possible with tax credit investments by Brentwood Bank and BNY Mellon Corporation through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. Says Brentwood Bank Vice President of Loan Operations, Carrie Havas, “We are thrilled to collaborate with NWWPA and EDS on this initiative. This is our home. Brentwood Bank is a proud member of the South Hills community and we work to be the Bank of Choice for its residents.  We are always seeking ways to partner with local organizations that are making a direct positive impact on the communities that we serve and this project is a perfect fit. We hope to continue to work with NeighborWorks, EDS, and the Bhutanese population that will benefit from this initiative for years to come.” Says Don Heberle, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, "Homeownership continues to be part of the American dream, and through this initiative BNY Mellon is proud to help make that dream come true for more residents in South Pittsburgh." NWWPA is excited to partner with BNY Mellon and Brentwood Bank!
 

New Housing Specialist, Regina MacDowell 
 
We would also like to welcome Housing Specialist, Regina MacDowell to the NWWPA team. Regina will provide one-on-one homeownership and credit and budget counseling to South Pittsburgh residents three days a week at The Pet Shop on Brownsville Rd. Regina is an experienced housing counselor with certifications in Homeownership Counseling, Post-Purchase Homeownership Education, and Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling. For more information on the program, to make an appointment with Regina, or to register for an upcoming class, call 412-281-9773.
Source: Neighborworks Western Pennsylvania  
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