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Press Release

Release date: 8/18/2021

NeighborWorks America Media

Middle class momentum missing: NeighborWorks America symposium addresses challenges and opportunities facing middle neighborhoods 

Washington, D.C. — NeighborWorks America's new annual Housing and Financial Capability Survey revealed that 62% of middle-income people ($50,000 to $149,999 household income) say their current financial situation makes homeownership seem unrealistic. The middle class is experiencing difficulty affording homes in many U.S. cities. Middle neighborhoods are an important part of America's cities and preserving these communities is key to helping the middle class build and maintain long-term wealth. NeighborWorks America's Aug. 25 symposium will explore best practices in maintaining and leveraging middle neighborhoods.

"Investing in the Future: Realizing the Opportunity of Middle Neighborhoods," is at the center of the weeklong NeighborWorks Virtual Training Institute (Aug. 23-27). Middle neighborhoods are communities that are neither flourishing, nor noticeably distressed; their presence empowers people to create economic advancement through acquiring affordable homes, particularly for Black people and communities of color. These areas offer beneficial urban qualities like parks, schools, community centers and commercial and industrial buildings that improve residents' quality of life. But middle neighborhoods are disappearing due to socioeconomic and demographic shifts, and Americans are at risk of losing access to wealth-building opportunities and affordable homeownership. This event will explore methods to preserve and uplift these middle neighborhoods. 

Among the confirmed speakers at the symposium are:
  • Paul Singh, Vice President of Community Initiatives, NeighborWorks America
  • Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress
  • Mary Pattillo, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Chair of the African American Studies Department, Northwestern University
"Because these neighborhoods are in a middle category, it's not going to take a drastic level of intervention and funding to bring them back," said Paul Singh, vice president of community initiatives at NeighborWorks America. "There's a lot of opportunity, with a relatively modest investment, to make a difference in putting these neighborhoods back on a more positive trajectory. There's an opportunity to show how our NeighborWorks network can play a critical role."

NeighborWorks America provides top-notch training to community development and affordable housing professionals throughout the year. This year's Training Institute offers nearly 30 new courses, including classes that teach professionals how to create and teach programs virtually, such as "Remote Homeownership Counseling" and "Designing and Delivering Financial Capability Programs Virtually."

Learn more information about the NeighborWorks Virtual Training Institute

About NeighborWorks America
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer-exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools and access to training, as the nation's leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education.

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