The Oxon Hill, Md.-based Housing Options & Planning Enterprises (H.O.P.E.) has been awarded a $125,000 grant to strengthen the organization’s ability to provide economic investments to underserved communities in southern Maryland.

This year’s highly competitive CDFI Awards – sponsored by the from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions program and the Native American CDFI Assistance program — attracted a nationwide pool of 357 organizations in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to a Hope Financial press statement.

H.O.P.E. is one of only two organizations in Maryland to receive the CDFI Fund’s Technical Assistance award, and one of seven to receive funding under the 2020 round of the Community Development Financial Institutions program.

“H.O.P.E. is honored to receive this important award from the CDFI Fund,” said H.O.P.E. Executive Director Donna Hurley. “It is a highly competitive grant, and we are excited about the opportunity to drive our focus on equitable economic development, financial empowerment and community wealth-building throughout the southern Maryland region.”

H.O.P.E. Board President Antoine Thompson added that “with increased negative economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including significant reductions in income, a rise in unemployment, potential foreclosures and evictions, it is critical that local communities have the resources to seize economic opportunity.”

The organization said that in the past five years, it has assisted more than 6,000 residents with financial coaching, supportive housing, homeowner retention and homebuyer education.

In June, H.O.P.E. will celebrate its 15-year anniversary with the launch of a new five-year strategic plan and community loan fund initiative.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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