The Urban League of Greater Madison and the longstanding partners in its Single Family Homeownership Program were recognized on April 5 with a national award at the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award Luncheon at the Edgewater Hotel in downtown Madison.
The award was presented by Thomas Gilliam, the chairman and CEO of the Mutual of America Foundation, based in New York City. The Mutual of America Community Partnership Award recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations in the United States that have shown exemplary leadership by facilitating partnerships with public, private or social sector leaders who are working together as equal partners to build a cohesive community that serves as a model for collaborating with others for the greater good.
Certificates were presented to each of the program partners, and commemorative coins were presented to individuals who made the program possible. Mutual of America also surprised the Urban League of Greater Madison with a $25,000 donation to support the work it does in the community.
The Urban League and its partners were being recognized for our innovative Home Ownership Program, which was the first in Wisconsin, and one of the first in the nation, to utilize the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits program for a scattered site, single-family, homeownership program. To date, the program has helped 31 low and moderate income families become first-time homeowners. The program has passed along nearly $1,579,000 in equity to these families – an average of $50,900 per family. While participating in the program, families have also seen their household incomes, savings, assets, and credit scores rise.
In addition to the Urban League, the other partners in this effort who were recognized at the event included Wisconsin Affordable Housing Corp., U.S. Bank, Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), City of Madison, Forward Community Investments
and the United Way of Dane County.
The following individuals were recognized with commemorative coins for going above and beyond in support of the program over the years:
◆ Betty Franklin-Hammonds (recognized posthumously) and accepted by Jonathan Gramling. Betty and Jon were the ULGM leadership with the vision to launch the program
◆ Vickie Wright, Program Coordinator who has helped coach and support these 31 familes on their journey towards homeownership.
◆ Wyman Winson (WHEDA) and Hickory Hurie (retired, City of Madison) who helped put together the innovative financing package.
◆ Kimberly Robinson, program participant and homeowner who accepted the award on behalf of the 31 families who have become homeowners and the 20 others soon to follow.