$100,000 contribution from Penn Community Bank expands homebuying grant, financial literacy program in Philly neighborhoods
PHILADELPHIA, Pa (October 2022) – Penn Community Bank, the largest mutual bank in eastern Pennsylvania, has partnered with Clarifi to expand homeownership opportunities for Philadelphia residents.
Rapidly rising housing prices, broad inflation, and interest rate hikes have all left their mark on the nation and local communities. Homeownership, the single best means for creating and passing on wealth to new generations, is increasingly out of reach for minorities and those who fall into the low to moderate income bracket. . In response, Penn Community Bank’s $100,000 contribution will support homeownership counselling and homebuying grants for Philadelphians residing in majority minority and low to moderate income areas of the city. .
As part of the program, Clarifi counselors work alongside participants to evaluate the budgets, identify short- and long-term goals, and create a written action plan detailing next steps. Together, counsellors and participants move through the home purchase process, including providing education on loan products, budgeting for maintenance, and how to work with realtors. Upon completion, program participants are able to
access bank-provided grant funds to help them recoup their savings, and in turn reduce risk of foreclosure and enable them to make necessary home repairs and modifications.
“For 150 years, Penn Community Bank has been helping individuals and families across the region save for, finance, and purchase a home of their own. We know the impact that homeownership has on families and communities for generations, and we take our call to values-based banking serious. Partnering with Clarifi to enhance the work they are doing to eliminate barriers to homeownership in Philadelphia was a natural extension of our belief in Greater Good Banking,” said Jeane M. Vidoni, president and CEO of Penn Community Bank.
“Today, the homeownership gap between Black and White Philadelphians is larger than it was in 1990. Too many Black families are denied the opportunity to build and pass on wealth to their children because of this disparity. We are proud to partner with Penn Community Bank to offer this innovative homeownership counselling program,” said Steve Gardner, Executive Director of Clarifi. “Every new homeowner brings us a little closer to closing the racial wealth gap.”
In support of this mission to increase access to homeownership and necessary financial tools, Penn Community Bank recently announced a corporate realignment to further carry out its mission. Bernard Tynes has been named EVP/Chief Marketing & Impact Officer and oversees the organization’s marketing and community relations strategy – including its charitable giving of 5% of its net income to area nonprofits and community groups – to ensure Penn Community Bank’s products, services, and resources are available throughout the region. Additionally, Bob Coffin has been tapped to lead efforts to ensure upward mobility for everyone in the region – not just those traditionally served by financial institutions as the bank’s EVP/Chief Quality Management Officer. In addition to supporting credit responsibilities, he’ll oversee special initiatives centered on Fair Lending practices and build upon the bank’s foundational mutual structure to ensure it fulfills its values-driven brand promise.
Details about the program, including how to apply, can be found at www.clarifi.org.
About Penn Community Bank: Penn Community Bank holds more than $2.6 billion in assets, employs more than 300 people, and offers banking and lending services at 20+ bank branches and three administrative centers throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties, Pennsylvania. As an independent, mutual financial institution, Penn Community Bank is not publicly traded and operates with its long-term mission in mind: to help businesses grow and prosper, to provide financial resources to individuals and families throughout their lifetimes, to strengthen the local economy, and to partner with local organizations to act as a catalyst for positive growth in every market it serves.
About Clarifi: Established in 1966, Clarifi is the leading financial wellness nonprofit in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley. Through counseling and education, Clarifi helps people at all income levels, but with a special focus on low-to-moderate income families, improve credit, reduce debt, manage student debt, prepare for homeownership, avoid foreclosure and more. Clarifi’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve financial resilience and positively impact their communities. More information at www.clarifi.org