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Philanthropy Awards spotlight: Community Resources & Housing Development Corp.

Jenny Flores
Posted by Jenny Flores
Corporate Social Responsibility

It’s time again for one of my favorite events of the year: Bank of the West’s annual Philanthropy Awards!

Al Gold

Al Gold

I’m pleased to share the winner of this year’s Community Impact Award is Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC). Incorporated in 1971, the organization originally focused on the stark living conditions and lack of adequate housing for migrant farmworkers in Colorado. Since then, their mission has expanded to address urban and rural needs on a statewide scale. Over the past 45 years CRHDC has built over 2,100 homes and provided technical assistance for the development of over 500 units of migrant farm worker housing throughout the state.

I’m proud Bank of the West is supporting CRHDC’s continuing impact. I had the chance to learn more about the group’s work in this brief Q&A with Al Gold, CRHDC’s executive director.

Q: CRHDC aims to help people “find their path home.” What are the challenges or barriers to homeownership that you see most often? A: The biggest barriers to homeownership are credit and fear of the process. Once people understand how to manage their money and what makes up a credit score, they are able to make tremendous improvements; and through that process they gain self-confidence that helps them to believe they can actually achieve their dreams of homeownership.

How do you measure the impact on the lives of the people you serve?

The outcome of homeownership can have a profound effect on someone’s life. A stable home at a fixed price gives a person so much more flexibility to achieve in all areas: Their kids do better in school, they have better relationships with their communities and neighbors, the list of positive outcomes is long and extensive. Homeownership is an incredible asset for owners and their families. In fact, homeownership is more closely related to overall household wealth than family income, employment, college education, and family support or inheritance. Sustainable homeownership impacts not only the homebuyer but builds an asset that can be passed on to future generations.

What motivates you to continue this important work?

Understanding the profound difference we are able to make in someone’s life motivates us to do the work we do. Our programs provide a hand-up, not a hand-out, and the homeowner is a key part of this process.

What’s your hope for CRHDC in the next 10 years?

My hope is that we are able to help more people access the opportunity of homeownership and that we not only ensure that people have shelter, but have pride in a home that is part of a robust community.

See more about CRHDC’s work in this video:

To see my Q&A with the winner of our 2016 Innovation Award, click here.

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