AFI Grantee Launches Program to Help Veterans and Soldiers Save for Homeownership
After Richard Hallock gave 24 years, 7 months, and 7 days to his country as a military man, he started a profitable business and supported his family until the end of his life. After his military service, Mr. Hallock loved to help other military families find similar financial success. In his memory, his family teamed up with NeighborWorks Columbus in Georgia to help military families become homeowners—with Assets for Independence (AFI) support.
The Hallock Soldier Fund began when Myriam Hallock, Richard’s wife, donated $1 million to NeighborWorks Columbus to offer soldiers zero-interest loans and downpayment assistance. NeighborWorks maximized the impact of the donation by setting aside $100,000 for Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).
The Soldier Fund works the same as other AFI projects, drawing from the Hallock donation to match the Federal AFI grant. In addition to the IDAs, the Neighborworks Columbus Homeownership Center helps soldiers locate, purchase, rehabilitate, insure, and maintain homes. By offering assistance to active and retired troops, the Soldier Fund supports a wide market in the Columbus area, which includes Fort Benning. In 2007, the surrounding county had 21,591 veterans in residence, totaling more than 17 percent of the population.
The IDA program launched only 2 weeks ago and has already enrolled 15 families. Jacquetta A. Ward, who works on the program for NeighborWorks, said the Soldier Fund has received tremendous feedback from participants as well as the press.
Although the Columbus program is directed at homeownership, the idea can transfer to savings for other asset purchases, Ward said. If you have any questions on the program, or are interested in starting a similar program, you may reach Ms. Cartee at (706) 324-4663.
This article originally ran in the IDAresources.org Update Newsletter on 12/03/09 and is available for archival purposes.