BROCKTON — Two of the region’s leading housing nonprofits will merge on July 1, combining financial education and real estate development services in a trio of cities that have come to serve as havens for lower-income homebuyers during Greater Boston’s affordability crisis.
The two nonprofits, NeighborWorks Southern Mass and Housing Solutions for Southeastern Massachusetts, will maintain offices in Brockton, New Bedford and Quincy. A fourth office in Kingston, a coastal town of 13,000 on the South Shore, will also stay open.
Rob Corley will helm the combined organization, NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, as its chief executive officer after the merger.
“The reason we wanted to combine the organizations is because the services were complimentary,” Corley said in a recent interview.
Prior to the merger, both nonprofits developed housing in the region, including a collaboration on a planned conversion of the former Lincoln School in Brockton into a senior living complex with just under 50 units.
NeighborWorks, Corley said, also provides homebuyer education, down payment assistance and foreclosure counseling.
Housing Solutions for Southeastern Massachusetts contracts with the state to provide services on behalf of the Department of Housing and Community Development, like the RAFT program, which provides grants to people facing homelessness. Housing Solutions also administers the state’s Family Self Sufficiency program, which provides grant funding for the education of tenants using federal Section 8 rent subsidies, and other programs that target people facing housing insecurity.
“We have been partnering directly with Housing Solutions for the past eight years,” said Corley, who will continue to serve as NeighborWorks’ executive director leading up to the merger. “After careful consideration with our boards we realized the most sustainable way to keep moving our missions forward is together.”
In the fall of 2018, the boards of directors of both organizations voted unanimously for the merger.
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter celebrated the decision at a recent breakfast at Stonehill College hosted by the two nonprofits.
“NeighborWorks Southern Mass has been an outstanding partner to the city who understands the true value of homeownership and affordable housing opportunities for its citizens,” he said in his remarks. “I am very pleased to see this local partnership become even stronger as they merge with Housing Solutions, who shares their vision and expertise in helping local families.”
NeighborWorks is currently developing 48 units of mixed-income housing on Brockton’s Main Street, on the site of a razed department store.
Wells Fargo will award the newly formed NeighborWorks Housing Solutions with $250,000 to support the merger.
In a statement, Wells Fargo’s regional Vice President for Communications Briana Curran said the funding will “enable the organization to provide more individuals and families with increased education, access to and success in securing and maintaining a safe, affordable home in an opportunity-rich community.”
By Ben Berke
Posted May 31, 2019 at 9:51 AM