Yet, NeighborWorks America met the challenge on every front, even exceeding expectations. Whether it was COVID-19 relief, foreclosure counseling, senior assistance, veterans support or our focus on our network organizations, NeighborWorks stepped up to the challenge in 2020.
A year unlike any other in memory, for all of us.
The mission of NeighborWorks America, and its nearly 250 network organizations, is to serve low-and moderate-income communities across the United States. Never was that mission more critical, and NeighborWorks more needed, than this past year as these communities tried to cope with the devastating effects of COVID-19.
As the pandemic spread, NeighborWorks was able to make available more than $22 million in grants to our network organizations to assist with sanitation and protective equipment, COVID testing, virtual counseling, job training, recovery of lost income, rental assistance, food and healthcare, infrastructure and capacity needs, and technology upgrades.
The NeighborWorks network organizations continued to help individuals and families in their local communities find safe and secure homes.
Accomplishments in the past year included:
- Counseling and educating more than 149,000 residents;
- Growing our network’s rental home stock by 6,188 units to nearly 180,000 rental homes owned; and
- Assisting more than 23,000 homebuyers (mostly low-to-moderate income), helping them achieve their dream of homeownership.
On behalf of the board of NeighborWorks America, we salute the work of the NeighborWorks America staff, the staff and the leadership of the NeighborWorks network organizations, and the individuals and families that came together in the communities served by NeighborWorks to support each other and demonstrate extraordinary resilience and courage during this difficult time.
The stories in this year’s annual report are snapshots of the many hours and critical resources leveraged to ensure that the families we serve have a safe place to call home. They demonstrate the extraordinary impact of NeighborWorks America on communities around the United States for more than 40 years.
In preparing to tell the story of 2020, I cannot help but stop and reflect on the many ways our organization and the NeighborWorks network exercised resilience. It was a regular Wednesday, March 11, 2020. The plan was to stress-test the capacity of our systems, have everyone work from home and then return to the office on Monday. At the time, the phrases “global pandemic,” “quarantine,” and “social-distancing” weren’t even a part of our vocabulary. At the writing of this message, we have yet to return to the office. Our organizational perspective and priorities changed on that Wednesday.
Our priorities and mandate were clear. We needed to leverage our relationships, resources, and expertise to ensure our network organizations could continue to operate, and their staff had the resources they needed. The residents and families they served had basic necessities. We did not have the luxury to wait or wonder how we would accommodate their needs. Our partners and funders stepped up immediately, allowing us to repurpose funds to provide capacity grants to our network organizations. Their support allowed our network to immediately shift to response and recovery, ensuring their community’s immediate and long-term needs.
I have personally been a part of the NeighborWorks family for most of my professional career. The more I see and experience the work of our network, the more I am humbled and amazed at their innovation, expertise, and resourcefulness. As President and CEO, I have the privilege and opportunity to speak with at least one of our network leaders daily. Their resilience and tenacity genuinely inspire me. They also inspired and motivated our staff to stretch and get creative in responding to unique and unforeseen challenges, and they did a fantastic job. Despite being in a global pandemic, we fast-tracked and introduced a new virtual learning platform and launched a national consumer protection initiative (StopHomeScams.org). We were also able to distribute grants for more than $22 million dollars to provide rental relief and capacity grants to more than 240 local non-profits.
2020 was not the year we expected, but it was the year we responded with resilience and respect. The NeighborWorks mission was never more critical than it is today. Together with our staff, Board of Directors, network organizations, stakeholders, and funders, we look forward with a renewed commitment to delivering on our mission every day to communities and residents across the country.
President & CEO
BY THE NUMBERS
Individuals or Families Assisted with Affordable Housing or Counseling
FY20 COVID IMPACT
Over 737,000 services provided to renters, including:
Nearly 29,000 renters provided with cash resources for rental assistance.
Over 282,000 renters provided with food or basic necessities.
Hired over 500 employees for newly created positions.
NeighborWorks America takes its financial responsibility to its many stakeholders seriously. A congressionally chartered corporation, we receive an annual federal appropriation. We also receive significant support from several strategic partners to help ensure we meet the needs of the individuals and families served by our network organizations.
In addition to our annual reports and submissions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and both houses of Congress, NeighborWorks America undergoes a third-party financial audit. The external, independent auditor provides a full review of the corporation’s financial statements in accordance with the standards applicable to financial audits issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. We also have a full-time internal audit team to ensure compliance with established corporate financial and operational procedures, which involves a continual review of financial transactions, processes, and adherence to internal controls.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, for the past 4 1/2 years, it has been my honor to have led a team of dedicated financial and accounting experts committed to ensuring fiscal accountability and the mission of our organization. In ensuring that the organization remains fiscally sound, this dedicated team works directly with the program departments to understand how we can all work together to deliver on our mission to strengthen communities and expand opportunities for people to live in safe, affordable housing.
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Bank of the West
Corporation for National and Community Service
County Health Rankings and Roadmaps
Federal Home Loan Bank System
National Association of Realtors