By: Katie Sobiech
After 25 years of existence, the East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation (EANDC) has a lot to show for it. As the economy worsens and foreclosures increase, this corporation has become an even more valuable asset to the community.
Their five lines of businesses benefit housing in the community, focusing on improving housing conditions, providing energy services and economic development programs. Local businesses also find help through their Safe Harbor small business incubator and development center.
They develop 40-50 new homes each year, which are affordable housing units sold or leased to low or moderate income individuals. Their property management line allows them to manage about 600 units of affordable housing in the Akron/Canton area as well. This just scratches the surface of what they do.
“Our organization is a neighborhood based development corporation that was established to help revitalize the East Akron neighborhood,” Grady Appleton, Executive Director, said.
The EANDC began when the East Akron Community House and the Neighborhood Council (then called the Council of Block Club Presidents) came together. Their goal was to create better and affordable housing, mainly by taking care of the housing that already existed.
What began in east Akron has expanded to other Akron neighborhoods as well as Canton and Massilon.
EANDC programs include Energy Services, Property Management, Akron Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, Safe Harbor Business Incubator and the Center for Home Ownership. Each of which plays a significant role in the community.
Their weatherization and other services help individuals make the most out of the homes that they have, most importantly, keeping them safe.
One very important service and program that they provide to residents in Akron is their energy services program. Hired contractors go into homes, replacing furnaces, hot water tanks and installing attic and sidewall insulation.
“This creates a savings for the family,” Appleton explained “and they can use those savings to do other things with their budget besides spending it on high energy costs.”
One of the biggest problems within the immediate east Akron area is the amount of vacant housing units due to the foreclosure crisis that this area is facing.
“Folks have lost their homes and a lot of their homes are in disrepair,” Appleton said, “Some of them probably need demolishing but some could be saved.”
Because of this, they have been planning a preservation project that they want to implement in conjunction with the city of Akron as well as with the Summit County government. Its prospective name is “Recycling the Real Estate”. They hope to get possession of the homes, renovate them and sell them to low to moderate income homebuyers.
Helping with Foreclosure
The EANDC has been very active in terms of foreclosure prevention – doing all that they can to help people keep their homes.
“We do this by providing them with rescue funds which helps them get caught up on their mortgage if they are not too far in,” Appleton said.
They also provide counseling and budgeting classes. They have counseled about 150 homeowners over the past year – providing about 50 of them with rescue funds. Rescue funds reach up to $3,000 to help homeowners get caught up on their mortgages.
An individual’s income determines whether or not they are able to receive help from this organization. They specifically serve low to moderate income families, people that are at 60% or below the area median income.
For more information call (330) 773-6838