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CHP Celebrates NeighborWorks America's 40th Anniversary

Janaka Casper - NeighborWorks Anniversary

Ever since Community Housing Partners (CHP) became a chartered member of NeighborWorks America in 2003, the Christiansburg-based nonprofit has been leveraging its impact on communities throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Congressionally chartered in 1978, NeighborWorks America is dedicated to creating places of opportunity across the country. CHP is one of nearly 250 members of the national NeighborWorks network, which helps individuals, families, and communities thrive through comprehensive approaches to affordable housing and community development.

“We are grateful for our support from NeighborWorks America and partnerships we have developed with our peer organizations in the NeighborWorks network,” said Janaka Casper, CEO of CHP and past recipient of the National NeighborWorks Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. “CHP is a stronger and more impactful organization today because of our relationship with NeighborWorks.”

Numerous CHP employees have participated in NeighborWorks America’s training and certification programs, where they learn from expert practitioners and thought leaders in the nonprofit, community development, and affordable housing arenas. NeighborWorks offers both online and in-person courses which are regularly updated to reflect industry standards and current trends. Through the NeighborWorks Training Institute, CHP employees have an opportunity not only to gain professional certificates, but also to interact with and learn from fellow professionals from a variety of sectors.

As a member of the NeighborWorks network, CHP also benefits from multiple grant, capacity-building, and peer-exchange opportunities designed to help members expand their work, pilot and replicate new approaches, build partnerships, and improve their performance and governance. In addition to technical assistance, NeighborWorks America offers organizational assessment to ensure that network members like CHP remain strong and healthy in their operations. This includes rigorous assessments before an organization’s acceptance into the NeighborWorks network and every year thereafter.

Through flexible grants from NeighborWorks America, CHP has also increased its impact on local communities. In 2017 alone, the nonprofit utilized $285,000 in NeighborWorks capital funding to leverage $9 million for community development. These funds supported two real estate development projects: Tranquility at the Lakes in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Hunting Hills Apartments in Christiansburg, Virginia. What’s more, CHP spent $3.5 million in current and prior year NeighborWorks funds for predevelopment expenses to assess the viability of 13 projects in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

In 2017, CHP also used $141,000 in NeighborWorks expendable funding for Resident Services and Homeownership programs, in addition to grant funding to provide mobile phones for CHP’s maintenance staff, measure health impact through a Health Outcomes Demonstration Project, and continue developing a cross-sector health model in Hopewell, Virginia.

This year, NeighborWorks America celebrates 40 years of community development leadership. The organization exists today because a coalition of residents, government officials, bankers, and community members envisioned better, more affordable homes in the places that people need them most. Since 1978, it has expanded from around 50 groups to nearly 250 organizations nationwide while retaining a grassroots approach that allows every organization the flexibility to focus on a community’s particular needs.

As a member of the NeighborWorks network, CHP will continue to support NeighborWorks America’s efforts to make every community a place of opportunity.