July 6, 2020 10:00 a.m.

NeighborWorks Umpqua has two new programs for consumers.

Communications Director Suzi Pritchard said in the wake of COVID-19 and escalating economic inequity, the non-profit has established a new way of delivering services to help low-income residents build wealth and financial resiliency. As of July first, they have introduced: a Financial Opportunity Center, and a Community Development Financial Institution.

Pritchard said as of May this year, approximately 266,000 people have lost their jobs in a brief period. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association. 8 percent of all homeowners are now at risk of losing their home. At the same time, the federal government and the State of Oregon are poised to allocate billions of dollars in relief aid to nonprofit organizations and agencies that can help with relief efforts.

Pritchard said NeighborWorks Umpqua has partnered with the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation to create the Financial Opportunity Center. She said it provides a relationship-based coaching model that will help low-income families improve their financial well-being. Pritchard said three core services – financial education, income supports counseling and employment services will provide the resources to empower underserved rural Oregonians.

The release said the Community Development Financial Institution will offer accessible asset and credit building, small business loans, and affordable housing development financing starting later this year.

For more information about either program, contact NeighborWorks Umpqua at 673-4909.