NeighborWorks® Community Partners (NCP) and Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) are partnering in the formation of The Neighborly Fund, to offer relief to homeowners in Western NY (specifically Erie, Niagara and Monroe counties) and small business owners in Buffalo who need help taking care of necessaries, such as paying utilities, buying groceries, or keeping their businesses afloat.
As part of this program, our neighbors will also receive free financial counseling to help them get a plan in place to get back on their feet, and repay the loan when they can. Proceeds will be used for the inaugural distribution of The Neighborly Fund, to provide no interest, deferred loans of up to $3,500 to WNY homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19.
To kick things off, NeighborWorks® Community Partners has committed $100,000 to the Neighborly Fund in order to raise our $250,000 portion of the goal. We are asking the community to join us with their own contribution – because if our neighbors lose their livelihoods, the whole community loses. Our collective goal is to raise $500,000 between the two organizations to deploy across WNY.
While some of our neighbors may not be able to repay their loan in full, many will. And they won’t just be paying it back in the traditional sense – instead, they’ll be “paying it forward.” Once the coronavirus crisis has passed, NCP & WEDI will use any loan repayments that were received to continue providing affordable financing to low-income Western NYers who need to address health and safety hazards in older homes, make their homes more energy efficient while reducing their utility bills, or get their small business back up and running at capacity.
The Neighborly Fund is more than just money. It’s a stake in the ground, placed by neighbors, like you, who love their community and are willing to fight for its well-being over the long-haul.
With your support, we will all be able to pay it forward. Thank you!