BNT 2023 Annual Benefit Supports Affordable Housing and Homeownership

Milford, CT – November 2, 2023 – Yvonne Jetter’s family faced severe financial challenges during the pandemic. Almost losing her husband’s business added to their struggles. The threat of homelessness loomed when their landlord decided to sell their home. Fortunately, her husband’s accountant told them about the “wonderful first-time homebuyer down payment assistance program at BNT.”

This story was shared at BNT’s recent annual fundraiser, featuring Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), David Berenbaum. Speaking at the “Let’s Make Home the Goal” event on November 2 at the Great River Golf Club in Milford, CT, David said “The time is now… We’re at a point of time in our world, in our country, where people are struggling to enjoy affordable housing of their choice, to live in the community of their choice.” He was also presented with BNT’s Housing Leadership Award during the event.

David emphasized the importance of housing counseling, citing Yvonne’s experience as a common one in Connecticut. HUD is committed to educating future homeowners, with a goal to impact “three million households a year” in the next five years.

BNT offers classes on homeownership and financial literacy, along with personalized counseling sessions. Yvonne found BNT’s counseling instrumental in preparing for homeownership, addressing budgeting, credit repair, and financial readiness. She says she hopes BNT’s housing counseling program “reaches more families like mine who are struggling to grab hold of their dreams of homeownership.”

Doris Latorre, BNT’s CEO, served as the event’s moderator. She expressed her gratitude to BNT’s Board President, Chip Parish, for his and the Board’s unwavering dedication and significant support. During the event, she highlighted the organization’s transition from property management to property development and enhanced HUD counseling services. She also acknowledged the growth of BNT’s services and the support of dedicated advocates, funders, elected officials, real estate partners, and nonprofit leaders.

Doris also emphasized the event’s theme, “Making Home the Goal,” aligning with a national campaign led by keynote speaker David Berenbaum. Berenbaum promotes housing and financial literacy counseling agencies like BNT’s across the country.

Deborah Clancy, Vice President of TD Bank, was presented with the Board Service Award and a certificate of recognition from Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Luis Sanchez, former BNT Board President, presented a Community Impact Award to Fabian Durango, President of Durango Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. Doris presented a Community Impact Award to Mina Minelli, Senior Managing Director of Webster Bank.

The event also recognized sponsors, which included its Platinum Sponsor, M&T Bank; Gold Sponsors, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Webster Bank; Silver Sponsors, Fairfield County bank, Elizabeth & Joseph Massoud Family Foundation, Newtown Savings Bank, and Shelter powered by Keller Williams; and Bronze Sponsors Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, Durango Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., and First County Bank.

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