Neighbor News: April Edition

Celebrating Fair Housing Month
Special Request: Resident in Need of Bike for Work
So Long for Now: Gia Heflin Departing N2N
Upcoming Loveland Event
April is National Fair Housing Month
Now is the time to reflect on historic efforts to end housing discrimination and recognize ways we can support and protect fair housing rights today.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, a civil rights law that makes it unlawful to discriminate in housing because of race, color national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. This Act applies to discriminatory rental practices, as well as to the process of buying and selling homes.

The Fair Housing Act set a precedent to make the sale, rental, and home financing process nondiscriminatory, yet borrowers in underserved communities often remain at a disadvantage when it comes to awareness of resources and the availability of affordable offerings to help them achieve homeownership.

In a recent poll, KeyBank surveyed 1,000 households earning less than $75,000, and found nearly one-third of homeowners were unsure if they had an unfair experience when buying their home or are certain they were treated unfairly. Many were left questioning whether they received a fair market value price.

Access to education, advice and resources to help in the homebuying process are important—especially for families facing additional barriers in the homeownership journey. This Fair Housing Month, in our commitment to reducing barriers, Neighbor to Neighbor is excited to announce we will begin offering in-person Homebuyer Education Classes for Spanish speakers, beginning on June 10, 2023.

To learn more about this free education opportunity for all first-time home buyers, or to register now for an upcoming class, visit our Homebuyer Education page.
You're Invited!
Join us for a Community Mural Painting Party this Friday from 4-6
This Friday afternoon, N2N volunteer and local artist, Jennie Milner, will be leading residents, supporters, volunteers, and staff in creating a community mural for our renovated Coachlight Community Building. Since the N2N rehab project has been a community effort, it's only fitting that the artwork reflects the same. We hope you can join us and leave your mark!

Event Details:
Friday, April 28 from 4pm -6pm (come and go as you please)
Neighbor to Neighbor Coachlight Plaza Building
1550 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Painting experience is not required, you may come and go as your time permits, and all ages are welcome to participate! Please wear appropriate clothing as we will be working with non-washable paints.

Final Q&A with Gia Heflin
Director of Housing Solutions reflects on time at N2N before embarking on next chapter.
What positions have you held during your time at N2N?

In 2016, a colleague informed me of an opening at Neighbor to Neighbor, which is how I began my first job here - as an N2N housing counselor at The Murphy Center. Since then, I have been a lead housing counselor, the rent program manager, the senior renter program manager, and now a director for the housing solutions program. In my first leadership role, I managed three staff, and at the height, I was overseeing a team of thirty.

What are your top accomplishments while at N2N?
I feel great pride in the development of our Race Equity Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) workgroup, which allowed us to begin examining and rethinking our practices so we could proactively build a more inclusive, inviting, and safe workplace. An outcome was the creation of our Latinx Committee, which exists to not only identify barriers and gaps in services, but to build relationships throughout the community so we can support our partners as well as our clients.

I am also proud of relaunching our HomeShare Program. This service was paused during Covid, but during that time, I was able to refine the program and build partnerships to help support its revival in 2022. The great thing about HomeShare is that it can evolve as community needs shift and opportunities arise. The same is true for adding case management to the Housing Search Assistance Program (HSA). This is a newer program, but a critical one that was missing in our community. Not everyone is able to access services in the same way, and some individuals face more barriers and need more help. With HSA case management, we leverage our community partnerships to create a holistic approach to better serve the client’s individual needs. We all want the same thing – for our clients to be successful -- so it just makes sense that we work together.

What have you learned at N2N that you will carry into your next role?
Neighbor to Neighbor taught me how to be a part of a team and how collaboration impacts community. I learned that just by asking a question, you can help create a solution. The more we engage in these conversations, and work together, the more we can ensure we aren’t leaving service gaps in our community. I feel fortunate for the many opportunities to connect and grow individually and as a leader here. I am taking all of that with me.

What are you looking forward to in moving back to Georgia?
I am going to miss the nature - the peace and serenity - here, and I will miss the cold, but I think that’s mainly because I won’t have that in Atlanta! I am looking forward to living near family and having that support and sense of community and belonging for my kids. I receive my master’s degree in May, and working towards licensing in therapy will be my next step. At this point, I am excited to see what life has to offer me!
Calling All Lovelanders!
Mark your calendars now for our 2nd Annual Morning Meet & Eat Event
From ending and preventing homelessness to preparing first-time homebuyers and stabilizing existing homeowners, Neighbor to Neighbor assisted over 2,300 Loveland households last year. Last May, we gathered with local friends, partners and supporters for a quick update on our work in the Loveland area, as well as to hear about Loveland housing trends and predictions from The Group Real Estate CEO Brandon Wells.

Good news! Brandon will be joining N2N E.D. Kelly Evans again this year to talk progress, changes, and trends in the Loveland housing market. This is a great opportunity to meet with like-minded professionals and members working in housing services or the housing market. We hope our Loveland folks will plan to join us once again - and bring a friend!
Interested in getting involved? Please fill out our quick Volunteer Interest Form and our Community Engagement Coordinator, Peri, will be in touch. You can also connect directly with Peri by email or phone/text at (970) 818-2156.