Director of Membership & Corporate Philanthropy
Joe Belew Award
An Award Established in Memory of CBA Former President Joe Belew
The mission of the Joe Belew Award is to encourage and recognize the community development efforts of CBA member banks in order to provide innovative industry solutions to pressing social issues.
Check out the Joe Belew Award Online Library for descriptions of all award-winning programs.
Consumer Bankers Association Announces Recipient of 2013 Joe Belew Award
On Tuesday, March 12, 2013 the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) announced First Niagara Bank as the winner of the third annual Joe Belew Award at CBA LIVE in Phoenix, AZ. The 2012 competition focus was creating and maintaining affordable housing for low and moderate income individuals or communities, and First Niagara was selected for its Affordable Housing Partnership with Habitat for Humanity Capital District.
Andy Harmening, CBA Chair-Elect and Senior Executive Vice President, President, Regional Banking Group at Bank of the West announced the award recipient to CBA LIVE’s 1,000 attendees. Accepting on behalf of First Niagara was Paul McCraven, Senior Vice President of Community Development. As the nonprofit partner of the winning bank, the Habitat for Humanity Capital District will receive $5,000.
CBA also announced U.S. Bank as the runner up for the 2013 competition.
Read a detailed description of the winning and finalists programs on the Joe Belew Award Online Library.
The award was established in 2011 in memory of Joe Belew, former CBA president, to honor his commitment to community development. The award annually recognizes CBA member banks for their innovative community development programs related to housing or job creation.
More information on the 2013 Joe Belew Award Competition Participants
First Niagara, Affordable Housing Partnership with Habitat for Humanity Capital District: Joe Belew Award 2013 First Place
First Niagara has established a unique and highly effective partnership with the Habitat for Humanity Capital District (HfHCD) to help build affordable housing and transform low to moderate income neighborhoods in the Albany, NY area. Developing larger scaled projects was a fundamental change of direction for HfHCD which previously built just a few single infill houses per year, so First Niagara stepped up to provide multi–faceted support through loans, grants, technical assistance and employee volunteers. Since 2011, the bank has provided over $3 million in loans or investments, over $30 thousand in direct grants, sponsored a successful major AHP grant, and engaged over 35 employees as volunteers. To date, HfHCD has completed two major neighborhood revitalization projects, and developed over 16 units of affordable homes for low income individuals. To further position the organization for future growth, HfHCD recently merged with the Rensselaer County Habitat for Humanity, which will increase efficiency in the operation in addition to providing new housing development opportunities.
U.S. Bank, Community Restoration Funds: Joe Belew Award 2013 Second Place
U.S. Bank set up Community Restoration Funds in Chicago, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities to acquire and rehabilitate foreclosed properties in the cities’ designated Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) zones, neighborhoods hit hard by the economic downturn, or natural disasters. Their revolving loan funds are available to selected smaller neighborhood developers working in central city neighborhoods at 0% interest, providing a source of much needed short term capital that developers can quickly access, and allows the properties to be available for homeownership, rent to own, and rental. So far, development partnerships have resulted in 65 properties being purchased, 27 properties being completely rehabilitated and 10 homes sold to deserving homeowners.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Community Development Banking
Through its delivery of lending, tax credit equity investments and real estate development solutions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2012 provided more than $2.6 billion for community development – commitments that will help create nearly 11,000 affordable housing units across the U.S. As a leader in affordable housing finance nationally, the bank provided financing for more than 114,000 units over the past eight years.
Citibank, Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative
Citi Community Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative is a collection of five high-performing community-based organizations in five different geographic markets all focused on the combination of neighborhood stabilization, financial capability, and asset-building. Concentrating on originations in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a total of $250,000 in Citi funds are being used by these organizations as they efficiently monitor post-purchase performance of buyers and properties, which so far has led to over 237 low- and moderate-income families getting into a sustainable and responsible mortgage.
SunTrust, Affordable Home Improvement Program
SunTrust’s Affordable Home Improvement was created to provide an alternative home improvement lending offering for low- to moderate- income clients. The program helps clients finance home improvements at rates less than typical financing alternatives such as credit cards. Clients have the assurance of a fixed monthly payment and a set term to ensure they fully retire the debt they borrow. In addition, the unsecured AHIP loan product allows clients with little or no equity in their homes to get a loan with rates at or below those of traditional home equity loans.
Wells Fargo, NeighborhoodLIFTSM
NeighborhoodLIFTSM has committed $77 million towards helping cities deeply affected by recent economic conditions recover through sustainable housing, and is currently active in 11 different cities. Launched in February 2012, the program was developed to implement approaches to help housing markets stabilize neighborhoods deeply affected by the foreclosure crisis, including holding Home Preservation Workshops that focus on mortgage payment relief to help keep customers in their homes and avoid foreclosure. As of December 31, 2012, 1034 participants purchased a home utilizing NeighborhoodLIFTSM down payment assistance.