Leahy Announces $1.2 M. In Grants To Vermont’s NeighborWorks Centers

first_imgAs Foreclosure And AffordableHousing Crisis Spreads& Leahy Announces $1.2 M.In GrantsTo VermontsNeighborWorks CentersTo Sustain TheirAffordable Housing DevelopmentAnd Ownership Counseling LOCAL CONTACTS:Preston Jump, Central Vermont Community Land Trust, (802) 476-4493 ext204Brenda Torpy, Champlain Housing Trust, (802) 862-6244Merten Bangemann-Johnson, Gilman Housing Trust, (802) 334-1541 ext 202Luddy Biddle, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, (802) 236-2586Jeff Staudinger, Rockingham Area Community Land Trust, (802) 885-3220ext 220Mia Joiner-Moore, NeighborWorks America, (617) 585-5016 The five Vermont NeighborWorks organizations receiving grants are: WASHINGTON (Thursday, Feb. 7) Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)announced Thursday that Vermonts five NeighborWorks organizations aregetting $1.2 million in NeighborWorks America grants.  According toNeighborWorks America, a federally funded nonprofit housing organization, theirpartnership with the Vermont NeighborWorks organizations will help invest $46million into Vermont communities this year to stimulate economic developmentand bring more affordable housing opportunities to Vermonters.  . . .Leahy Helped Create 1st NeighborWorks Organization In Vermont In 1993center_img Leahy, a senior member ofthe Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Subcommittee on Transportationand Housing and Urban Development, which handles the Senates work inwriting the annual budget bills that fund NeighborWorks America, helpedestablish Vermonts first NeighborWorks organization in 1993 through agrant to Rutland West NHS, currently NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. Leahy said Vermont organizations depend on annual NeighborWorks grants toprovide a wide variety of housing-related services from affordable housingdevelopment to homeownership counseling and the establishment of revolving loanfunds or alternative mortgage solutions for Vermonters struggling to purchasehomes.Despite increased demandfor affordable housing options for low to moderate income Americans, Leahy saidthe Bush Administration has essentially level-funded the NeighborWorks Americaprogram nationwide below $120 million during each of the past threeyears.  And despite the nationwide housing foreclosure crisis and housingslump, the President actually seeks to cut $155 million from the program in hisbudget proposal submitted to Congress this week.  Earlier this year, inthe budget for the current fiscal year, Congress more than doubled theNeighborWorks America budget to address the national home foreclosurecrisis.  That new funding, unrelated to Wednesdays announcement,will be competitively awarded to housing organizations later this year.Over the last 15years, since we established Vermonts first NeighborWorks organization,we have expanded the number of nonprofit housing organizations eligible forthese grants and brought millions of dollars into Vermont to house the mostvulnerable Vermonters and to make homeownership a reality for manyothers, said Leahy, who has led an effort to increase funding forhousing programs within HUD and for the NeighborWorks program.  Wecould do much more to stimulate this economy and fend off recession if the BushAdministration focused on the urgent housing needs of Americans instead ofpumping tens of billions of dollars every month overseas for the misguided warin Iraq.  I will continue to fight for affordable housing assistance forVermonters, who are struggling all the more as the economy worsens.  Asfar as the federal budget is concerned, this is the kind of high priority hereat home that the war in Iraq is not. ·       Central Vermont Community Land Trust in Barre: $144,725·       Champlain Housing Trust in Burlington: $412,296·       Gilman Housing Trust of Newport and Lyndonville: $207,428·       NeighborWorks of Western Vermont in West Rutland: $265,000·       Rockingham Area Community Land Trust in Springfield: $215,000 NeighborWorks was established in 1978 by Congress.  According toNeighborWorks America, over the last five years the NeighborWorks network hashelped leverage nearly $15 billion in Americas urban, rural, andsuburban communities; assisted more than 80,000 Americans become homeowners;and developed and managed more than 70,000 units of affordable, high-qualitymultifamily housing.  This year, NeighborWorks America will provide morethan $76 million to its network of more than 230 community-based nonprofitorganizations.  # # # # #last_img read more

USC’s youth is on display to start season

first_imgThe USC men’s basketball program has developed a reputation for consistently possessing one of the youngest rosters in the Pac-12 Conference, and the 2016 season will be no different. This season, nine of the roster’s 14 players are underclassmen in eligibility — the team only boasts one senior who is on scholarship. USC’s youth was a strong point in the team’s perfect opening weekend, which included victories over visiting Montana and Omaha at the Galen Center. Trojan underclassmen have accounted for approximately 60 percent of the team’s offensive output through the first two games — scoring 93 of USC’s 157 points thus far. In USC’s 82-72 victory over Omaha Sunday, redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron, a transfer from Louisville, scored a team-high 16 points and reeled in four rebounds. “Shaqquan is in a situation now where he is being relied upon for the first time in his career,” Enfield said regarding Aaron, who sat out the entirety of last season after transferring from Louisville. “He is being relied upon to do things he has never done before — defend at a high level, rebound the ball, score and help our team win games.”Aaron also recorded a career-high 17 points in USC’s season-opening 75-61 victory over Montana Friday. Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu recorded his first double-double of the season Sunday against Omaha (15 points, 11 rebounds). Metu also recorded a game-high five blocks on Sunday. A breakaway dunk from Metu late in the second half against Omaha was a nail-in-the-coffin play which helped clinch the victory for the Trojans. In the opening weekend of their collegiate careers, freshman guards Jonah Mathews, De’Anthony Melton and forward Nick Rakocevic saw significant playing time against both Montana and Omaha. Melton — who scored 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting Sunday — was one of five double-digit scorers for USC in its victory against Omaha. Melton also recorded a game-high three steals on Sunday. “I want to get as many deflections as possible on defense,” Melton said. “I just want to limit their [opponent’s] number of possessions and increase the number of ours.”Rakocevic scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds against Omaha; his free throw made in the second half put USC ahead 54-53, giving the team a lead they would not surrender for the remainder of the contest.Mathews scored four points against Omaha Sunday, and recorded the first field goal of his collegiate career. PASSING OF THE GUARDWhen former USC guard Julian Jacobs declared for the NBA Draft last spring, ending his career as a Trojan a year early, there were great doubts about the future of the backcourt for the team. Through the first two games, the trio of Aaron and juniors Elijah Stewart and Jordan McLaughlin has filled in well for the team at the guard slots. On Friday night against Montana, Stewart scored a game-high 30 points against the Grizzlies on 6-of-12 shooting from the field; he also reeled in seven rebounds. “I didn’t have to take that many shots tonight because I got to the free throw line a lot,” said Stewart, regarding his performance Friday night. “I’ve been trying to work on my efficiency, especially having so many options in this offense.”On Sunday, Stewart scored 11 points, while recording four assists and seven rebounds. McLaughlin, who led USC in scoring last season (13.4 PPG), scored 12 points on Sunday and recorded a team-high five assists.Through the first two games of the season, Aaron has averaged 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.SURPASSING THE SLOW STARTOn Friday night against Montana, USC overcame a slow start that put it behind double digits against the Grizzlies early on in the second half. After falling behind  14-3, the Trojans finished the half on a 31-16 run that gave them the lead entering the half en route to a double-digit victory. Against Omaha Sunday, USC trailed the Mavericks 37-34 at the half. In the second half, USC outscored Omaha 48-35 and outrebounded the Mavericks, 28-19, in its come-from-behind victory. METU DEVELOPINGAs a freshman last season, Metu undertook a significant role for a USC team that appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2011. In his first year, Metu had a team-high 54 blocks, while averaging 6.4 PPG and 3.8 RPG off of the bench. Issues with foul trouble limited Metu to an average of 18.5 minutes per game played during his freshman season. Enfield notes that Metu has worked on this aspect of his game — limiting the fouls that come with his block-happy style of play. Metu has also made efforts toward diversifying his offensive skill set, especially developing his abilities as a mid-range shooter. Last season, Metu was a 51 percent shooter from the free throw line. Through two games, Metu has shown early signs of improving his foul shots, shooting 9-of-11 from the stripe thus far.“I worked out a lot this summer, making sure I’m able to knock down [mid-range shots] effectively,” Metu said. “It’s helped my game a lot. Now I can pump-fake, drive to the rim, and get fouled. I’m shooting a lot more free throws these first two games than I did all last season … It’s all helped me open up my game.”last_img read more