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Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven named a Citizens Bank Champion in Action for outstanding development efforts

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $35,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

New London, Conn. (July 12, 2012) – Earlier today, Citizens Bank and WTNH News 8 named Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven (NHS) its newest Champion in Action® . The second Champion named in 2012, NHS was chosen for its outstanding work in the category of neighborhood development. Through the Champions in Action program, NHS will receive a $35,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage, and extensive promotional and volunteer support.

The Champions in Action grant will assist NHS in its efforts to transform struggling New Haven neighborhoods into vibrant hubs of affordable homes and empowered residents. One of the region’s premier providers of affordable, sustainable homeownership opportunities in the Greater New Haven area, NHS invests more than $3 million annually in neighborhood revitalization efforts and homebuyer education. It has been responsible for the renovation and sale of nearly 300 homes since 1979. NHS also educates and trains more than 500 families each year through its HomeOwnership Center.

"Citizens Bank is pleased to name Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven our newest Champion in Action," said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Connecticut and Rhode Island. NHS works tirelessly to bring beauty and pride back to some of our region’s most challenged neighborhoods. It is a shining example of neighborhood development."

"News 8 is proud to recognize Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven for its programs designed to help build strong communities through financial, emotional and physical empowerment of New Haven homeowners," said Mark Higgins, Vice-President and General Manager of WTNH/WCTX. "This organization supports real people in Connecticut and has an influential impact on neighborhoods and families."

Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and News 8 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Connecticut communities. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the program, which has awarded 39 nonprofits nearly $1 million in grants and promotional support.

In addition to acquiring and beautifying once-decaying properties, NHS offers a wide array of programs and services, including:

  • New Haven Home Ownership Center, which offers homebuyer education and counseling services, financial assistance for down payments and rehabilitation loans, and foreclosure-prevention workshops.
  • Home Improvement & Energy Conservation Laboratory, which provides hands-on classes demonstrating the basics of home repairs and energy conservation

As a Champion in Action, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven will receive:

  • New Haven Home Ownership Center, which offers homebuyer education and counseling services, financial assistance for down payments and rehabilitation loans, and foreclosure-prevention workshops;
  • A $35,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from the Citizens Charitable Foundation;
  • Media coverage from WTNH News 8, including public service announcements and television profiles over the course of six months;
  • Volunteer support from Citizens and WTNH News 8 colleagues;
  • The opportunity for the organization’s executive director to participate in a "president-to-president" mentorship with Ned Handy, President of Citizens Bank, Connecticut and Rhode Island;
  • Extensive public relations support;
  • Promotional support on all Citizens Bank branch DCN screens and on its ATMs; and
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and WTNH News 8 websites.

"Our organization is honored to be named Citizens Bank’s 2012 Champion in Action," said Dr. James Paley, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven. "Citizens Bank has always been a strong partner of our organization, and we applaud the bank for its unwavering support of affordable housing development throughout the state. We appreciate the confidence Citizens has shown in our holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization."

For more information about the Citizens Bank / WTNH News 8 Champions in Action program, visit www.citizensbank.com/community/champions or www.wtnh.com. To learn how to contribute to Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven through donations or volunteerism, call 203.562.0598 or visit www.nhsofnewhaven.org.

About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 50 branches and 125 ATMs in Connecticut.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $130 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,460 branches, approximately 3,800 ATMs and approximately 19,200 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

About WTNH News 8
WTNH News 8 continues to set the standard for news coverage excellence in Connecticut. News 8 provides news, weather and information around the clock through its television newscasts, WTNH.com website, and digital and mobile platforms. WTNH News 8, an ABC affiliate, and WCTX MyTV9, a My Network affiliate, serve more than 871,000* households.

*Estimate according to Connecticut Nielsen Station Index (NSI).