News & Event
PAWTUCKET – School officials say they have been unable to determine why the local school district was again left out of a late October grant award to support local homeless students. Housing advocates recently estimated that there are 68 homeless students in Pawtucket currently.
Interim Supt. Cheryl McWilliams said administrators reached out to the Rhode Island Department of Education after an inquiry from The Breeze about the lack of a grant this year, but were still unclear on the reasoning.
McWilliams said the district filled out the application for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Education for Homeless Children and Youth grant in August. She theorized that the district might not have won the award because its percentage of homeless students is under 1 percent. Certainly “any homelessness isn’t good,” she said, but some other districts do have higher percentages than that.
To view the complete article, visit Providence Business News
Courtesy of Providence Business News
Boston– October 30, 2017 – Santander US CEO Scott Powell today announced Santander’s “Inclusive Communities” plan, Santander Bank’s new $11 billion, agreement with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) to increase lending, community development, and charitable giving. The plan outlines Santander’s commitment to communities across its eight-state northeastern U.S. footprint for 2017 through 2021, during which time Santander will increase its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) activity by 50 percent and triple its investment in charitable grants.
Over the next five years, Santander will provide:
- $4.2 billion in residential mortgage loans for low- to moderate income families
- $1.9 billion in small business lending
- $3 billion in community development lending
“This plan is the foundation of Santander’s approach to supporting the communities where we live and work,” said Powell, CEO of Santander US, the Bank’s U.S. holding company. “We recognize that Santander’s success is directly linked to the prosperity of our communities’ families, businesses and neighborhoods. By increasing lending, investments and financial education opportunities, we hope to boost the long-term economic success of low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods.”
Powell announced “Inclusive Communities” at a meeting this morning in downtown Boston where he was joined by officials from the City of Boston, other public officials, and National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) President and CEO John Taylor.
"This is a good day for people in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and my home state of Massachusetts,” said John Taylor, NCRC President and CEO. I want to applaud Santander for committing 11 billion in investments for underserved neighborhoods over the next five years. Santander’s leadership showed a special dedication to working with community leaders and better understanding the credit needs in the areas they serve. We are very pleased that this commitment, and especially the 10 new bank branches, will help individuals build wealth and neighborhoods build their economies."
“Inclusive Communities” was developed with significant input from and collaboration with more than 100 community-based organizations throughout the Bank’s footprint. Supported and facilitated by the NCRC, an extensive ten-month long process helped identify emerging community needs and strategies aimed at addressing the challenges faced by underserved communities in Santander’s key markets.
Read a in depth summary of Santander's "Inclusive Communities" agreement here
In addition to the Bank’s financial commitments, Santander is establishing a national Community Advisory Board (CAB) comprising representatives of not-for-profit community development organizations and financial inclusion advocates, as well as community development policy organizations, and representatives of local or state economic development or housing agencies. Members of the CAB are:
The Bank is also establishing statewide/regional advisory boards in its footprint to ensure ongoing community input and will be enhancing its current Community Development and CRA teams with the addition of 17 new positions in the coming years.
Local leaders applaud the agreement:
"ANHD applauds Santander for creating this new CRA plan. They listened to over 100 community based organizations to create a plan that is reflective of community needs throughout the bank's footprint, including New York City. We also appreciate the creation of national and regional community advisory boards, which put the structure in place to implement, monitor, and adjust the plan to ensure it has the greatest impact. We look forward to working with the bank to put this plan into action,” Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.
“New Jersey Citizen Action has had a longtime partnership with Santander Bank and its predecessor, Sovereign Bank. The bank's $11 billion commitment in mortgages, small business loans and community development lending will provide loans, access to capital and affordable housing for thousands of New Jerseyeans. I look forward to serving on the bank's National Community Advisory Board and working with Santander to ensuring that these dollars are reinvested in our communities,” Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director, New Jersey Citizen Action.
“The effort behind this plan will ensure that those who live and operate businesses in developing neighborhoods can benefit, including immigrants and communities of color,” John Chin, Executive Director, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.
“As a leading Center for Independent Living for People with Disabilities in the greater Philadelphia Area, we applaud Santander's commitment to the community and our desire to increase affordable and accessible housing opportunities for the many Seniors and People with Disabilities who we serve throughout the region,” Thomas H. Earle, Esquire, Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Resources, Inc.
"Santander has had a long and impactful presence in the Greater Reading community. We look forward to continue working with Santander Bank and its team members in implementing this comprehensive plan, particularly in downtown Reading, where they have a large workforce and occupy almost 1/4 million sf of office space, in addition to having its name on the Santander Arena & the Santander Performing Arts Center," Edward Swoyer, President, Greater Berks Development Fund.
“This is an exciting and groundbreaking agreement that will improve our communities and transform lives. It demonstrates that banks and the communities they serve can thrive together when they work together. We congratulate Santander, NCRC, and the dozens of community based groups who worked so hard to make this happen,” Joseph Kriesberg, President & CEO, Mass. Association of Community Development Corporations.
“We believe this agreement with Santander Bank will go a long way in helping LMI communities in Waterbury CT. It provides a framework and capital for the hard-working people of the Northend section of town to rebuild a vibrant community,” Pastor Rodney Wade, President, Concerned Black Clergy Council of Waterbury.
“The Community Reinvestment Act is an important tool that empowers people in many ways. For example, the act can be used to conduct community development. As far as I am concerned, it protects LMI communities from senseless crime and violence,” Angela Mciver, Chief Executive Officer, Fair Husing Rights Center in Southeastern Pensylvania.
“This was a unique opportunity to work with fellow community organizations to determine priority needs and where we want Santander to direct their resources to help address those needs. It was also an opportunity for Santander to gain a better understanding of their community responsibility and measures needed to implement in the future. Represented organizations put a great deal of time and care into this process to ensure fairness and optimize outcomes for the communities we serve,” Majeedah Rashid, Chief Operating Officer, Nicetown Community Development Corporation.
"MAHA looks forward to continuing our partnership with Santander in reaching low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers as we both seek to close the large racial wealth gap in Massachusetts", Symone Crawford, board president, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance.
"Obviously, Home Ownership is the foundation upon which strong, thriving communities are based. We welcome the proactive steps being taken by Santander and we look forward to many years of success. Together, we can be the change that our communities need - one house at a time, one block at a time, one neighborhood at a time..." Stephen T. Gieringer, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks, Inc.
Partners in the Community Benefits Agreement:
Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the country’s largest retail and commercial banks with more than $79 billion in assets. With its corporate offices in Boston, the Bank’s 9,700 employees, more than 650 branches, 2,100 ATMs and 2.1 million customers are principally located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN) - one of the most respected banking groups in the world with more than 125 million customers in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. It is managed by Santander Holdings USA, Inc., Banco Santander’s intermediate holding company in the U.S. For more information on Santander Bank, please visit www.santanderbank.com.
Santander Holdings USA, Inc. (SHUSA) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN) (Santander), one of the most respected banking groups in the world with more than 125 million customers in the U.K., Europe, Latin America and the U.S. As the intermediate holding company for Santander’s U.S. businesses, SHUSA includes six financial companies with more than 17,500 employees, 5.2 million customers and assets of over $135 billion. These include Santander Bank, N.A., one of the country’s largest retail and commercial banks by deposits; Santander ConsumerUSA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SC), an auto finance and consumer lending company; Banco Santander International of Miami; Banco Santander Puerto Rico;Santander Securities LLC of Boston; and Santander Investment Securities Inc. of New York.
PAWTUCKET – No Community Development Block Grant funding from the city went toward the construction of recently closed showers for the homeless at 185 Dexter St., say officials.
City Councilor Terry Mercer, at a July 10 meeting, asked for information on whether the CDBG funds went toward the shower facilities previously located at 185 Dexter St. He was responding to a Breeze story a week earlier detailing how House of Hope’s ACCESS-RI program had to leave the property, cutting off its shower amenities for the city’s homeless.
Officials frequently hear how Pawtucket Central Falls Development does good work, said Mercer, but “this seems to be a little askew” that the agency as landlord would push the group out. He said he wanted assurances that the funds did not go to the shower facilities.
To view the complete article, visit The Valley Breeze
Courtesy of The Valley Breeze
In the district as a whole, 37% of students missed 18 or more days last year, which is considered “chronically absent,” according to the Rhode Island Department of Education. This was the highest rate of chronic absenteeism among traditional public-school districts in the state, and much higher than similar school districts in Massachusetts.
In Boston, 25% of students were chronically absent last year; in Springfield, 23%; and in Worcester, 15%, according to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
To view the complete article, visit Providence Journal
Courtesy of Providence Journal
PAWTUCKET – At least four families in the city remain homeless after more than a year of trying to improve their situation, says Elaine Cruz, pictured, an advocate with the Pawtucket Child Opportunity Zone in city schools.
Cruz last summer told The Breeze about worsening homelessness due, in part, to rising rents.
“It hasn’t gotten any better,” she said this week.
Homeless families, many of whom are following through on a series of action steps spelled out for them, are getting nowhere, said Cruz. One woman was given steps “A, B and C” to follow, she said, and followed steps “A to Z.”
“Everything you can imagine, these families have done, and still they’re homeless,” she said.
To view the complete article, visit The Valley Breeze
PAWTUCKET – The city’s homeless residents once again have a place to go for a warm shower, a haircut, and more, now on Barton Street, thanks to two separate organizations.
Officials last Thursday kicked off the city’s new portable shower location at 345 Barton St. On Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, Peter Kelleher, of Massachusetts-based Support the Soupman Corp., will have his mobile showers set up on site, while on Thursday mornings, starting this week, House of Hope CDC will have one of itsShower to Empower mobile units at the same location.
Kelleher brought his mobile showers to Pawtucket for the first time on Sept. 12, and approximately 12 to 20 people used the showers each week for the first two weeks, according to Support the Soupman’s Operations Manager Chris Gewlas.
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