HOTH-CDC Homeownership Staff Recognized by OHFA
August 24, 2016
Homes on the Hill CDC was recognized recently for its outstanding work in providing homeownership counseling to Ohio Housing Finance Agency clients who are purchasing a home using an OHFA lending product. OHFA requires a phone counseling session for all borrowers. Marilyn Pritt, HOTH-CDC housing counselor, completes the phone counseling sessions. Marilyn brings an extensive combination of real estate and lending experience to the position. Her personal communication style and detailed knowledge has been frequently noted by clients. She has counseled more than 650 OHFA clients in the last year while also counseling HOTH-CDC’s regular pre-purchase clients. HOTH-CDC was recognized as the second highest producer of homeownership counseling clients for OHFA in the state. HOTH-CDC Program Manager Daniel Ruggiero and Marilyn were on hand at a recent OHFA meeting to receive the award.
Homes on the Hill Recognized by the National Council of La Raza
August 15, 2016
The National Council of La Raza has awarded Homes on the Hill an award for outstanding work in the local community. HOTH-CDC is a member of the NCLR homeownership network and received this award at the recent NCLR Homeownership Network Meeting. HOTH-CDC was selected from a group of more than 50 organizations that participate in the NCLR homeownership network. HOTH-CDC program Director Daniel Ruggiero was in attendance to receive the award. The award recognizes HOTH-CDC’s work in the community. HOTH-CDC provides both housing development and financial/counseling services. The counseling services consist of pre-purchase, foreclosure, rental, and credit counseling combined with financial literacy. HOTH-CDC has long been recognized as an innovator in program development. NCLR recognizes both the excellent work of the housing counseling and support staff but also recognizes the contribution HOTH-CDC makes in promoting and supporting overall housing policy and programs.
“This award is important to us because it recognizes the contribution that our staff has made over the last several years,” said HOTH-CDC executive director Stephen Torsell. Our staff works hard and has helped literally thousands of households become homeowners, find good rental housing, refinance their homes, and learn how to more effectively manage their finances. HOTH-CDC is a relatively small agency when compared to some but has always managed to achieve significant results in all areas of operations. “We began our partnership with NCLR more than 12 years ago, and this recognition is much appreciated. We have taken on a major task in responding to the needs of our community and this is something that all of HOTH-CDC can take pride in," said Mr. Ruggiero.
OHFA 2013 Spirit of Homeownership Excellence Award
Jun 16, 2013
As part of the celebration of National Homeownership Month, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) recognized Homes on the Hill for its Housing Counseling and Homeownership program. The program provides pre-purchase housing counseling, post-purchase maintenance, home improvement counseling, foreclosure prevention, and affordable housing development. To date, HOTH-CDC has counseled more than 5,000 Central Ohioans and provided more than $300,000 in down payment assistance to more than 130 families purchasing a home. The agency has successfully helped more than 60 Ohio families access OHFA's Save the Dream Ohio funds to help prevent losing their home to foreclosure. Homes on the Hill has brought an estimated $10,000,000 in direct investment to the Greater Hilltop and Westland neighborhoods during the last two years through affordable housing projects like Hilltop Homes 1, collaborations with Habitat for Humanity, and various neighborhood outreach efforts, including community gardens, safety programs, block watch support, and Rebuilding Together.
CDC of the Year Award 2012
Oct 4, 2012
More than 300 community development leaders convened at the Ohio Community Development Corporation Association's 28th Annual Conference at the Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square under the theme Rockin' Revitalization. During the 2-day event, the Ohio CDC Association announced its 2012 Member Awards, honoring seven organizations. Homes on the Hill was awarded the top honor as the 2012 CDC of the Year.
This is the second time the organization has been recognized with this award, its first being in 2006. Executive Director Stephen Torsell accepted the award on behalf of what he described as his "hardworking and deserving" staff.
Community Builder Award 2009
HOTH-CDC received the 2009 Community Builder Award presented by Habitat for Humanity.
BBB Nonprofit Integrity Award 2007
Oct 25, 2007
Homes on the Hill received the 2007 Nonrofit Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency. The BBB recognizes private and nonprofit organizations that exhibit exemplary characteristics of integrity and competency in their daily operations. The award is given only to organizations that have met the 20 basic accountability standards by the BBB.
HOTH-CDC was recognized for several areas of accomplishment, including overall administration of financial systems and procedures in place to ensure adherence to a variety of government- and privately-funded programs. HOTH-CDC also has established an extensive system for serving clients in homeownership and/or foreclosure issues.
Executive Director Stephen Torsell accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Homes on the Hill strives to provide excellence in all that we do, including the administration of the funds that support the programs and service we provide. It is important to us to be recognized for our work. This award recognizes that HOTH-CDC has achieved a significant measure of success in providing complex programs and in the operations and daily administration of the responsibility we have through our funders.
HOTH-CDC, as a HUD-certified housing counseling agency and a HUD-certified nonprofit housing developer, requires extensive certifications in its systems and compliance in its operations. Other nonprofit recipients included Lutheran Social Services and the Childrens Hunger Alliance.
United Way Champion of Diversity Award 2006
HOTH-CDC and Communities in Schools both received recognition from the United Way as a 2006 Champion of Diversity, representing public recognition of individuals and organizations for their excellence and leadership in promoting diversity. Selection criteria for the awards include overall commitment to diversity, integration of diversity into strategic planning efforts, and engagement with the community.
Serving low- and moderate-income individuals and families is not enough by HOTH-CDC standards. HOTH-CDC goes the extra mile and two, developing a bilingual program to serve the unique housing needs of the Latino population. The agency became the first housing counseling agency to offer its homebuyer education workshops and individual counseling in Spanish. Furthermore, according to census figures that indicate only 12% of Hilltop residents are African American, nearly 30% of HOTH-CDC clients are African American. Although their focus is primarily in the Greater Hilltop area, HOTH provides service to any Franklin County resident.
HOTH-CDC recognizes the racial disparity among whites and minorities according to the Central Ohio Racial Disparities Report. HOTH-CDC continues to promote its mission by continuing to serve the female population of Franklin County, especially female-headed households. The success of its programs rests on the diverse staff and board members who support and implement its services. One-half of management positions are held by women, 22% of the board members are women, and 33% are African American. HOTH-CDC is a multiracial and multiethnic organization leading the way as a Champion of Diversity.
CDC of the Year Award 2006
Homes on the Hill received the Ohio Association of Community Development Corporations 2006 CDC of the Year Award in the Mature CDC category, representing those that have been in business for at least 5 years. The award was presented to Executive Director Stephen Torsell at the close of the 22nd Annual Ohio CDC Conference held in Cincinnati.
HOTH-CDC received the award in recognition of its various accomplishments in housing development, homebuyer counseling and education, and for a record of innovative and collaborative programs developed in housing. At the time, HOTH-CDC had developed more than 60 single-family homes with an additional 10 in development. It also had developed 15 new-builds, many in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. Administering more than $300,000 in down payment assistance, it had leveraged almost $4 million in public and private funds for the west side of Columbus and southwestern Franklin County.
Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award 2005
May 4, 2006
HOTH-CDC received the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations Nonprofit Excellence Award in the Small Nonprofit category representing Central Ohio for its Hilltop East new housing project completed in 2005, a collaboration among HOTH-CDC, Habitat for Humanity, and the City of Columbus Department of Development. The project consisted of new home construction provided by Habitat developed and managed by Homes on the Hill.
This project marked the first significant single-family new construction home ownership effort in the Greater Hilltop area in years, stated HOTH-CDCs Executive Director Stephen Torsell. Initially designed to be built with modular homes based on the model located at 360 Lechner Avenue, the project consisted of 11 new homes built on Lechner, Wrexham, and Wheatland Avenues. We encountered problems with the original development because of higher-than-anticipated construction costs. The margin for success with new construction in our neighborhoods is thin, and every dollar counts, said Torsell. We have a history of developing creative partnerships and had worked with Habitat on previous occasions. We designed the first two-story built by Habitat several years ago on Lechner, and our relationship with them is strong.
Habitat volunteers and staff completed eight properties in one year, a significant accomplishment for a project consisting of both volunteer and professional help. HOTH-CDC purchased the vacant properties through a loan from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and with the assistance of National City Bank in financing the model home. Other project funding was provided by Habitat and the City of Columbus.
Habitat Executive Director E.J. Thomas recently commented about the success of this project at the Habitat Annual Meeting. Habitat awarded HOTH-CDC one of its Community Partnership Awards for the success of the project. We look forward to continuing our relationship with HOTH-CDC and developing more properties with them, said Thomas. HOTH-CDC has completed 16 homes in collaboration with Habitat.
The awards, divided into categories with both a small and large nonprofit winners from northern, central, and southern Ohio, were announced at a luncheon on May 4. Other nominees included the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Cleveland Foodbank, the Dayton Foundation, First Link, the Ohio Energy Project, Prevent Blindness Ohio, the Three Rivers Housing Corporation, and the Toledo Fair Housing Center. HOTH-CDC is honored to have been nominated with these distinguished organizations, said Torsell, and it marks the combined efforts of a dedicated staff and Board of Directors representing HOTH-CDC and Habitat. We welcome the new residents of our neighborhood and appreciate the efforts of all involved.