Woodforest National Bank Honored With ABA Foundation Community Commitment Award

The Woodlands, TX (October 2017) – Woodforest National Bank® has been nationally recognized by the American Bankers Association Foundation for its Wealth Building through Homeownership program with a 2017 Community Commitment Award.  The award was given to Woodforest for its efforts in the Affordable Housing category and will be presented during ABA’s annual convention in Chicago on October 17.

Entries were divided in to six categories including affordable housing, community and economic development, financial education, economic inclusion, protecting older Americans and volunteerism. Award winners were chosen by a field of nationally-recognized experts.

Woodforest’s Wealth Building through Homeownership program, created in November, 2016, expands down payment assistance (DPA) through a first-of-its kind private-public venture with Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) to encourage low-to-moderate income (LMI) homeownership through an innovative $10 million loan agreement that increased access to DPA and closing cost funds. In the first five months, the program with TDHCA created over 1,500 new homeowners, with more than 81% of homeowners being LMI, representing over $250 million in new mortgages.  The effectiveness of the program was also buoyed by Woodforest expanding housing counseling capacity across Texas through both direct homeownership education as well as providing scholarships through NeighborWorks® America to Housing Counseling Organizations to prepare for the Dodd-Frank Housing Counseling Certification.

“Research indicates a down payment can be one of the biggest hurdles for a potential homeowner. By lending TDHCA $10 million in affordable, long term, and reusable capital, TDHCA was able to increase the amount of funds available to Texas borrowers for zero percent down payment and closing cost assistance loans and offer a lower rate on their first mortgage; thus reducing the cost of home ownership. Since Woodforest is not a traditional mortgage lender, we wanted to find an effective solution to help people afford a home,” said Doug Schaeffer, Executive Vice President-CRA Director for Woodforest National Bank.  “This program has had a tremendous direct impact in our communities.  We are proud to lead the charge in finding new and innovative ways to grow homeownership in low- and moderate-income communities across Texas.  Woodforest is currently syndicating the next round of financing and encourages interested community banks and minority depository institutions to participate in this innovative program.  Interested parties can contact our Community Development team at the information provided below.”

“In a public/private structure the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs works with Woodforest National Bank to fund down payment assistance, making stable and affordable home ownership possible for low, very low and moderate income Texans. In addition to the benefit to these homeowners, it helps ensure Texas communities of a more stable workforce and provides essential financing for Texas’ homebuilding industry,” said Tim Irvine, Executive Director of TDHCA. “This isn’t a win/win. It’s a win/win/win/win!” 

“Wealth Building through Homeownership Program demonstrates Woodforest’s strong and passionate commitment to bettering the lives of its customers and local community,” said Rob Nichols, ABA President and CEO. “Their work embodies the mission of the Community Commitment Awards and they are a truly well-deserved recipient.”



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