October 3, 2019

Community Housing Partners (CHP), an affordable and sustainable housing provider with headquarters in Virginia, has been hard at work helping hundreds of aspiring homeowners in Washington, D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Since February, CHP Homeownership has deployed nearly $7.1 million through the NeighborhoodLIFT program. While the program usually takes anywhere from 18 months to two years to complete, the homeownership team processed most of the allotted funds after only five months.

“It has been a really fast market,” said Jake Powell, Director of Homeownership. “We’re winding the program down. The bulk of the work was done within the first few months.”

Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America teamed up with CHP and MANNA Inc., a D.C.-based nonprofit, to boost homeownership opportunities through the program. Through NeighborhoodLIFT, CHP has provided eligible home buyers with $20,000 to use toward down payment and closing costs on qualified purchases. First responders, military personnel, and teachers qualified for $22,500 in assistance. At the end of August, the team has deployed funds to over 230 families, with 40 more expected to close soon.

“The most challenging aspect of running a program like this is its sheer volume and speed,” Powell said. “Ten years of production is completed in as little as three months.” In order to meet the demands of the program, Powell and his team brought on a couple of additional staff members dedicated to working on the NeighborhoodLIFT program. The team has handled the program well, servicing more funds to more people than they had for their previous NeighborhoodLIFT program, which serviced Virginia Beach in 2015.

The extra work has been well worth it. “When you take on that production spike, you get to impact a lot of people quickly, and that’s a unique opportunity,” Powell said. “With that comes a lot of great stories. Customers send us pictures and cards thanking us for the work that we are doing to help them.”

According to Powell, the NeighborhoodLIFT program demonstrates how well CHP Homeownership can adapt to reach out and implement a $7.1 million program in an area over 250 miles from its headquarters in Christiansburg, Virginia.

“It gives me a lot of confidence about what CHP Homeownership can do in the future,” Powell said.

Read a profile on Washington, D.C. police officer Romell Johnson and his family buying a new home through this program.