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Citizens Bank Foundation delivers $75,000 to promote successful homeownership across New York

Initiative provides grants for homebuyer and foreclosure-prevention counseling programs

Albany, N.Y. (July 11, 2012) – The Citizens Bank Foundation announced today that it has donated $75,000 to 10 affordable housing community partners serving the Capital Region, Hudson Valley, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse to support pre- and post-purchase counseling programs for first-time homebuyers as well as foreclosure-prevention counseling.

In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released two reports on the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for those families who purchase their first home and those struggling to prevent foreclosure. In both of the studies, HUD found housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood that homeowners remained in their homes. HUD found that 35 percent of participants in the pre-purchase counseling study became homeowners within 18 months of pre-purchase counseling and only 1 of the 573 individuals enrolled in the study subsequently fell behind in their mortgage payments. The foreclosure counseling study revealed that, with the help of a counselor, nearly 70 percent obtained a mortgage remedy to retain their home, and 56 percent cured their defaults and became current on their mortgages.

"Purchasing a home is the biggest investment most people will make," said James P. Gaspo, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New York. "Pre-purchase counseling helps families to ensure that they are ready for home ownership and provides fundamental tools to make sure that they are successful long-term homeowners. Increased home ownership helps stabilize neighborhoods and strengthen communities and we are pleased that these grants will help individuals and families realize their dream of owning a home."

The Citizens Bank Foundation provided grants to the following New York organizations for homebuyer and foreclosure prevention counseling programs:

  • Albany County Rural Housing Alliance, Inc. (Albany County)
  • Belmont Housing Resources for WNY, Inc. (Buffalo)
  • Better Neighborhoods, Inc. (Schenectady)
  • Community Housing Innovations, Inc. (White Plains)
  • Home HeadQuarters, Inc. (Syracuse)
  • Lackawanna Housing Development Corporation (Lackawanna)
  • Marketview Heights Association (Rochester)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of South Buffalo, Inc. (Buffalo)
  • PathStone Corporation (Rochester)
  • West Side Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (Buffalo)

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.