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NR 2007-51
Contact: Bryan Hubbard
(202) 874-5770

OCC Volunteers Help Improve an Affordable Housing Property in Northeast D.C.

WASHINGTON – Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan led more than 20 volunteers from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on June 2 in landscaping an affordable housing complex in the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C.

As part of NeighborWorks Week 2007, volunteers from the OCC, their families, and friends worked alongside residents to tackle several landscaping projects surrounding the Unity Gardens Condominiums, which recently were renovated by Manna, Inc.

"The event was about making a difference in our community," said Comptroller Dugan. "As a D.C. native, I'm proud to participate in such a worthwhile effort to support my community, and I share the personal commitment that OCC volunteers, community residents, and Manna staff demonstrated today.

"I also congratulate Manna as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in helping hundreds of low-income homebuyers purchase their first homes," the Comptroller said.

Manna is a role model and trusted advisor for low-income borrowers, nonprofit organizations and for-profit developers of affordable housing, and other community revitalization issues facing the District and cities across the country. In 25 years, Manna has produced more than 850 affordable homes for underserved District residents and purchasers under their programs who have accumulated more than $50 million in equity in their homes.

The Unity Gardens Condominiums provide an example of how Manna combines housing development and design with human service programs to promote homeownership through pre-purchase counseling, asset-building, and job training. Several of Manna's homebuyer club graduates participated alongside OCC staff in improving the Brentwood property.

National NeighborWorks' Week is an annual observance sponsored by NeighborWorks America (NWA), a network of nearly 250 local community organizations that brings together residents, business leaders, financial institutions, government officials, and volunteers in support of community revitalization projects across the country. Principals of the OCC and the other federal regulatory agency serve on NWA's board of directors.

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