NeighborWorks America Brings More Than 2,000 Community Development Professionals to New Orleans to Take Part in Training Institute Weeklong Symposium Focusing on Affordable Housing Results in an Estimated $1.6 Million Economic Impact Citywide

NEW ORLEANS, LA, May 03, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Today NeighborWorks America, the country's preeminent leader in affordable housing and community development, announced it will hold its quarterly Training Institute in downtown New Orleans on May 7-May 11, 2012. The weeklong event will provide training to more than 2,000 affordable housing and community development professionals from around the country. The Training Institute is expected to deliver an estimated $1.6 million in economic impact citywide. In addition, NeighborWorks America is partnering with HOPE Now and the U.S. Department of the Treasury on a homeowner outreach event. The event will occur on Wednesday, May 9 from 1:00 - 8:00 pm at the Pontchartrain Center. The event provides financially struggling homeowners the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. This event helps them to avoid being the victim of loan modification scams. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, selected New Orleans as the site for its Training Institute because of the city's tremendous revitalization efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and to support the economic development of the city. The Training Institute is open to community development professionals, housing counselors, realtors, and others from nonprofit and for-profit organizations. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that offer free and low-cost advisory services to thousands of individuals and families. The following NeighborWorks organizations are in Louisiana: Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc.; Providence Community Housing; and Southern Mutual Help Association. Numerous challenges continue to face the community, including an unstable economy and a high foreclosure rate. The unemployment rate in New Orleans is 8.2 percent. There were 2,002 filings for foreclosure in New Orleans in the first quarter of 2012. Further, NeighborWorks' direct investment of approximately $18 million has helped leverage nearly $900 million in construction and lending. NeighborWorks America partners have provided homeownership and housing related counseling to more than 30,756 clients. NeighborWorks America has trained more than 2,200 Gulf Coast residents since 2006. "NeighborWorks America has supported more than 30 local Gulf Coast organizations with grants, training and technical assistance," said Eileen Fitzgerald, CEO of NeighborWorks America. "We see the progress New Orleans has made and we also see the enormous impact of this community coming together. We look forward to hosting the Training Institute in an area where successful community revitalization is currently taking place." NeighborWorks America has held national Training Institutes since 1987. In 2011, NeighborWorks America's national Training Institute trained approximately 13,000 professionals from over 3,400 organizations, and awarded over 22,000 training certificates.

For more information about NeighborWorks America, and to register for the Training Institute, visit .

About NeighborWorks America NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.