BNT Receives Prestigious $1 Million Community Progress Makers Award from Citi Foundation

Bridgeport, CT – May 14, 2024: BNT is proud to announce its selection as the sole Connecticut recipient of the Citi Foundation’s $1 Million Community Progress Makers award. This marks BNT’s inclusion in the fourth cohort of this program, which now includes Connecticut among its eligible regions.

BNT was chosen from over 1,000 applicants nationwide for its commitment to serving low- to moderate-income communities in Connecticut. The Community Progress Makers initiative, launched by the Citi Foundation in 2015, supports high-impact local organizations with $1 million in unrestricted grants, technical assistance, and professional development. This cohort includes 50 organizations nationwide, with 16 in the Greater New York region, driving social and economic change across the U.S.

Among recipients in five other markets across the nation, the foundation’s Greater New York City area press release can be found at this link: Citi Greater NYC Announcement.

BNT’s selection highlights its longstanding dedication to sustainable community growth in areas such as affordable housing, financial health and literacy, first-time homeownership, and home retention services. “This award is not only a testament to our commitment but also the largest grant BNT has received in our 37-year history,” said Doris Latorre, CEO of BNT. “I am incredibly proud of our team and our board for their relentless dedication over the years. We are thrilled about the opportunities this award will open to further enhance our work.”

Over the next three years, this grant will enable BNT to:
• Hire a new Affordable Housing Development Manager.
• Expand the Empowerment Resource Academy to increase financial literacy programs for local youth.
• Pursue certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

BNT is also developing ‘Business-to-Business’ service delivery models with major employers, other nonprofits, and housing authorities in the Greater Bridgeport area. These models will extend employee benefits through financial and housing education services and provide clients with education on improving their credit profiles and obtaining affordable mortgage financing.

We are immensely grateful to the Citi Foundation for their trust and the opportunities this award brings,” Latorre added. “Participation in the Community Progress Makers Learning Community will enhance our ability to serve our community, providing invaluable resources and helping us learn industry best practices.” She also thanked the Citi bankers who have worked with BNT and BNT’s dedicated board members for their unwavering support and guidance.

Under its unique Learning Community initiative, the Citi Foundation also looks forward to BNT’s active participation in a series of curated webinars, local and national gatherings, which will further enhance the collaborative impact of this initiative and offer nonprofits best practices in their line of work.

About BNT
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust Inc. (BNT), doing business as Building Neighborhoods Together, focuses on affordable housing and economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families in Connecticut, primarily serving the Greater Bridgeport area. We operate two divisions: the Empowerment Resource Center (ERA), providing HUD-certified housing counseling and financial literacy, and Affordable Housing Development. In 2023, we supported 2,300 residents, helping 170 become new homeowners and many others boost their financial stability. We host “Coffee and Convo” events for real estate professionals and the “Homeward Bound” housing fair in June to promote first-time homeownership.

About Citi and the Citi Foundation
Citi is a leading global bank, the third largest in the U.S. and among the top ten globally by assets. It offers financial products and services to consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions in over 160 countries. The Citi Foundation promotes economic progress and improves lives in low-income communities worldwide through financial inclusion, job opportunities for youth, and innovative community-building efforts. The foundation’s national award announcement can be found at this link: Citi National Announcement.

For more information, please contact:
Charlie Griggs, Director of Administration and Fund Development
Phone: 203-290-4261 Email: Charles@bntweb.org

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