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Cascade Village named Housing Hero in Ohio

Charter One Foundation to provide $25,000 award recognizing The Community Builders’ innovative Cascade Village affordable housing development

Akron, OH      (April 2, 2009) - Charter One today named The Community Builders’ Cascade Village development as its Housing Heroes award winner. The Charter One Housing Hero award spotlights a nonprofit housing developer that demonstrates innovative solutions and leadership in creating affordable housing.

The Community Builders was selected as the Housing Hero because of its excellence in developing affordable housing. Its Cascade Village project in Akron stood out for its innovative use of resources, collaborative partnerships, and its focus on the economic and educational advancement of its residents.

As part of the award, The Community Builders will receive a $25,000 grant from the Charter One Foundation.

Charter One Vice President Rocky Richardson, the bank’s Director of Community Development in Ohio, made the announcement at the Cascade Village ribbon cutting.

“We are thrilled to name The Community Builders as the Charter One Housing Hero award winner for the Cascade Village development in Akron,” said Richardson. “Charter One recognizes the critical need for affordable housing in the state and we are pleased to celebrate the impact that nonprofit developers, such as The Community Builders, are making in the lives of Ohio residents.”

Developed and managed by The Community Builders, Cascade Village stands on the site formerly occupied by the city of Akron’s oldest and most blighted public housing site, Elizabeth Park. Now a community with 242 rental and 27 homeownership units, the site plan preserved the scenic nature of the valley location alongside the Little Cuyahoga River, as well as incorporated recreational and educational opportunities for residents. Of the rental units, 106 were reserved as replacement housing for former AMHA residents, with the remainder split between affordable and market-rate rents. 

Twenty percent, $5,000, of the $25,000 grant award from the Charter One Foundation is designated for a resident-related program in the neighborhood. The Community Builders will use these funds to create a cyber café for residents to network with each other, access the Internet and other community resources and acquire computer training.

"We are honored to be recognized by Charter One as a Housing Hero," said Pat Clancy, President, The Community Builders, Inc. “We are grateful to Charter One for this recognition and for its efforts to support and promote affordable housing throughout Ohio."

"We would like to use this opportunity to announce that Cascade Village will be one of TCB’s first pilot communities to test our new way of managing mixed income housing developments,” said Clancy. “The new way of management builds a closer landlord-tenant relationship and focuses on the economic success of our residents and their communities. We believe that this approach and the strong web of supportive programs we will be introducing will help build social capital among our residents. We will use the Housing Heroes award to lay the groundwork for this new way of doing business.”

About The Community Builders

Founded in 1964, The Community Builders is the largest nonprofit urban housing developer in America and has been an industry leader in comprehensive neighborhood revitalization. It has completed more than 22,000 units of affordable, mixed-income housing and generated over $1.9 billion in development activity. It manages more than 7,700 units of housing serving low-income families, the elderly and special needs populations, and constructs or preserves nearly 1,000 units of affordable and mixed income housing each year.

About Charter One

Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. It has 461 branches and more than 730 ATMs. It has 158 branches and 183 ATMs in Ohio. 

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $160 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 13-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets and deposits as of September 30, 2008. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).