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The Neighbor Project Closing The Gap Fund

Established 2023

The purpose of this fund is to provide support for The Neighbor Project’s “Closing the Gap” Minority Homeownership Program.

This fund promotes minority homeownership—with a specific emphasis on raising the Black/African-American homeownership rate—within our local community of Aurora. “Closing the Gap” refers to overcoming two major barriers: (1) the Black/White homeownership gap, which is the largest driver of our nation’s Black/White wealth gap; and (2) overcoming the financial, educational and trust gaps that many Black and Minority families & individuals have experienced when it comes to making a home purchase.

The Neighbor Project is inviting the greater Aurora-area community to contribute to this fund and will be MATCHING the first $50,000 in contributions made to this fund. The goal is for civic, business & governmental institutions to join together in “Closing the Gap” that exists in racial homeownership rates in our community so that ALL families have an opportunity to build generational wealth and contribute to the strength & stability of their families and the overall community. This initiative provides Down-Payment Assistance (DPA) grants layered with other DPA opportunities from lenders, employers and/or governmental entities with the goal of bundling up to $20,000 in total Down-Payment Assistance (DPA)—thereby “Closing the Gap” and making the dream of homeownership possible.

The primary requirement for local families (self-identifying as black or African American) to access downpayment assistance through this fund is to successfully complete a Homebuyer Education Certificate through The Neighbor Project’s HUD-approved Housing Counseling & Education program. The longer & more difficult the journey to homeownership, the larger the direct “Closing the Gap” grant:

· $3,000 – for families working w/ a TNP Counselor for 3 – 9 months;

· $5,000 – for families working w/ a TNP Counselor for 9 – 18 months; and

· $7,000 – for families working w/ a TNP Counselor for 18 – 36 months

TNP counselors will work to bundle these direct, layer-able grants with other DPA such as the Federal Home Loan Bank’s “Down Payment Plus” grants of up to $10,000 as well as several of our bank partners offering $5K – $7K DPA/Closing Cost grants for a combined $18,000 – $24,000 worth of downpayment assistance!

The Neighbor Project’s Closing the Gap Fund therefore creates a new pathway for eligible homebuyers to receive the education, financial support, and fair/equal access to appropriate lending products needed to close the gap between them and the generational wealth building that homeownership can provide.

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

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