NeighborWorks Toledo (NTR) releases economic impact studyWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
NeighborWorks Toledo (NTR), a local nonprofit charity focusing on housing development, released an economic impact study showing a $105 million contribution to the local economy over the past five years.
The organization focuses on community development, providing services in homebuyer education, energy conservation, foreclosure mitigation, real estate development, asset management, and mortgage lending and brokering activities.
Executive Director of NTR, William Farnsel, feels that housing development is the best place to begin to revive poor areas and stimulate the economy.
“We are a community development corporation and part of the mission is to find ways to help with resident satisfaction in the neighborhood, and in this day, we’ve had a lot of issue with housing. We’ve had population loss, we’ve had abandonment of existing structures, and abandoned houses are breeding places for crime and mischief. Whether it’s dealing with the vacant properties and turning them into something that is useful for the neighborhood, or getting them demolished and putting new housing on, we want to help. It seems like housing is a consistent topic of concern in neighborhood areas,” Farnsel said.
Farnsel also sees a need for this type of service specifically in Toledo.
“In Toledo, there are two things going on. Toledo is losing population, and that’s causing abandonment. Second, the housing that is left behind is obsolete. It’s obsolete from a energy-efficiency standpoint. It’s obsolete from a safety standpoint. Common construction practices seventy or eighty years ago are now seen as being unsafe from an environmental standpoint,” Farnsel said.
Because so many houses are unusable, the organization focuses heavily on creating housing that is up-to-date and made to be durable and energy-efficient. Farnsel sees benefit in making houses more efficient, and thus, more affordable.
“As we think about managing the land we have, it seems like a smart idea to come back with housing that is modern and friendly to the environment, and above all, energy efficient, so that people who live in the housing pay less for their utilities, and can better afford the housing,” he said.
The organization also focuses on education related to housing and community development, including counseling and educational programs such as Home Buyer Education and Foreclosure Prevention. Funding for the organization stems from private donors, the local business community, and government institutions.
The study, conducted by New England Market Research, was released on October 9 and examined the organization’s contribution from 2008 to 2012. In addition to the $105 million contribution to the local economy, the study showed that NTR sustained over 228 jobs annually, making $46 million in income for local workers, and generated $12 million in tax revenue. For every $1 received in private and public funding, NTR leveraged $3.62.
The study itself accounts for direct and indirect economic impacts; tax revenue, sustained employment, contribution to local labor income, and economic activities such as physical construction all factored into the study.
NTR is a member of the NeighborWorks Collaborative of Ohio (NCO), which consists of nine similar organizations across the state, which are in Toledo, Cleveland, Ravenna, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, and Springfield. These organizations collaborate to provide services to every region in Ohio, and provide programs such as homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention and financial literacy.
More than 70,000 individuals and families have received help from NCO since 2006. During the years studied, 2008 to 2012, NCO contributed nearly $1.4 billion to Ohio’s economy. NCO has also sustained 2,347 jobs on an annual basis, generating $516 million in income for Ohio workers.
The study reinforces the work the organization has been doing, and shows just how important community development is to the local economy, Farnsel said.
Farnsel feels that the most important impact the organization is having is on individual families and on making housing more affordable for the community at large. He sees potential in the organization to make groundwork for future generations to continue to live and thrive in Toledo.
“In most cases where we are able to have a positive impact on someone’s family life, it is helping someone find housing they can afford– helping someone find housing that is going to be a place where a family is can sink roots and contribute to the neighborhood. It comes right down to individual, personal stories. Having a stable family life connected to a neighborhood helps create a foundation for children to have an environment where they can grow and thrive.” Farnsel said.
Farnsel is excited to see how much the organization has contributed to the local economy, but also values the personal effects these past years have had on community members.
“Aside from all the numbers, it really comes down to can you positively affect someone’s life. The satisfying thing for me is to actually see someone sink roots in a neighborhood and create a stable environment for an entire family,” Farnsel said.
Tags: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Executive Director of NTR William Farnsel, Hamilton, Home Buyer Education and Foreclosure Prevention, NeighborWorks Collaborative of Ohio (NCO), NeighborWorks Toledo (NTR), New England Market Research, Ravenna, Springfield, Toledo