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Citizens and its foundation contribute more than $400,000 to housing organizations in New Hampshire

Grants to provide resources for homebuyer education and Affordable-housing development

Manchester,  N.H.           (April 2, 2009) - Citizens Bank and its charitable foundation have awarded more than $400,000 to housing organizations and programs across New Hampshire. These funds will provide resources for home buyer and financial education, and affordable housing development.

“Housing groups across the state will receive this funding to assist them in their efforts to support affordable housing opportunities, education and related services for New Hampshire families and individuals,” said Cathleen A. Schmidt, president of Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “The more people know about and understand credit and money management, the more likely they are to avoid bankruptcy, increase their savings, and improve their overall financial well-being. By building knowledge, consumers can feel more confident and use banking and other financial services available to them more effectively.”

The following organizations received funding from the Citizens Bank Foundation to help consumers understand homeownership opportunities:

• AHEAD, Co., Littleton, Save AHEAD, $10,000
• CATCH Neighborhood Housing, Concord, Homebuyer Education Center, $10,000
• NeighborWorks Greater Manchester, Start Home Program, $10,000
• Mt. Washington Habitat for Humanity, Conway, House Build, $2,500
• The Housing Partnership, Portsmouth, Homeward Bound Program, $5,000
The foundation continues to support the statewide Individual Development Accounts program (IDA), administered through the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and this year will contribute a total of $125,000. IDAs are savings accounts available to eligible low-income individuals to help them purchase a home. Participants deposit up to a maximum of $2,000, and deposits are matched with three times the deposited amount. Since 2001, the Citizens Bank Foundation has contributed nearly $1 million toward the IDA program in New Hampshire.

In addition, Citizens Bank sponsors home buyer seminars statewide through the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.

The following groups will receive funding from Citizens Bank through the Community Development Finance Authority’s CDIP program to assist with affordable housing development:

• Housing Futures Fund, $75,000. This funding will enable community-based nonprofit housing organizations to focus on housing development and outreach to those in need of affordable housing.
• NeighborWorks Greater Manchester, Granite Street Revitalization Project, $100,000
• Families in Transition, Family Willows, Manchester, $75,000
Citizens Bank will also name a 2009 second quarter Champion in Action in the area of housing in April.

Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation have awarded more than $4.7 million since 2000 to housing organizations and programs in New Hampshire.

About Citizens Bank Foundation

Citizens Bank Foundation is a charitable contributions vehicle of Citizens Bank. The foundation’s support is focused on housing, community development and basic human needs.