Homeownership: A Dream Come True … For Some


Cynthia and Larry Robinson

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter


For many these days, homeownership seems to be a distant fantasy.

For first time homebuyers Larry and Cynthia Robinson, NeighborWorks made that dream a reality.

NeighborWorks has been serving the Toledo community for years in homeownership needs. In 2021 they expanded their program with a crucial partnership. Key Bank provided them with a $3 million equity investment to create a community lending program.

Friday, June 10, the Robinsons, long-time Toledo residents, closed on their first home in Englewood.

“Our goal is to create 60 new homeowners in this fund over the next three years…” said James Hoffman, Northwest Market President of Key Bank – as he congratulated the Robinsons on their new home at the press conference on Monday, June 13 .

The partnership with Key Bank, the Fair Housing Center and NeighborWorks is an effort “to expand access to homeownership for all…to borrowers in low-to-moderate income census tracts within the City of Toledo” by “reduc[ing] common barriers people face when attempting to obtain a traditional mortgage”

The Robinsons with NeighborWorks staff

This lending program:

  • Provide(s) flexible terms and more affordable financing
  • Account(s) for nontraditional credit and flexible income s(source:www.nwtoledo.org)

The Robinsons started their journey about a year ago when they signed up for NeighborWork’s financial coaching and homebuyer education courses. Through the program they were able to finance their dream home. This class is a monthly free eight-hour course among a wealth of free services NeighborWorks offers to members of the community interested in attaining this goal themselves.

That Monday, presentations were given by James Hoffman, Northwest Market President of Key Bank; Marie M. Flannery, Executive Director Toledo Fair Housing Association; Ebenezer Ozei-Kwame from City of Toledo Housing & Community Development Department, representatives from NeighborWorks and a proclamation was received by the couple from Governor Mike DeWine.

“I know it’s been a long road and you guys kept pushing and kept doing and here you are,” said Flannery, as she congratulated the couple and expressed the importance of homeownership.

The couple earned down payment assistance from the City of Toledo – obtaining their home with zero closing cost. They also earned a home improvement grant of $6,500 through LISC Toledo to make improvements to their home. Truly serving as a model for what others can do.

The Robinson’s story is one of persistence in achieving their dream. That with dedication, effort, and the right support – you can meet your goal.

“Well worth the wait!!” expressed Larry Robinson, at the end of the press conference Monday.

NeighborWorks America® is the country’s preeminent leader in affordable housing and community development, working to create opportunities for lower-income people to live in affordable homes in safe, sustainable neighborhoods that are healthy places for families to grow. NeighborWorks TOLEDO REGION restores and revitalizes NeighborWorks® neighborhoods, primarily for the benefit of current and future inhabitants, by providing services and programs that renew pride, stimulate reinvestment and restore confidence and trust. (Source: www.nwtoledo.org)

For more information visit www.nwtoledo.org or call 419-691-2900.