CONVERGENCE Win in Columbus, Ohio

Last week the Columbus, Ohio City Council approved a $350,000 investment into the Maude Hill Growing Homeownership Fund, something long supported by CONVERGENCE Columbus.

Anna Teye-Kasongo

Anna Teye-Kasongo, Director of Community Partnerships for the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio, testified before the City Council on behalf of CONVERGENCE Columbus.

“Speaking in front of City Council for the first time, I was immediately swept away by the councilmembers’ passion and conviction in supporting Black and minority homeownership,” Teye-Kasongo said. “Councilwoman Lourdes Barroso de Padilla expressed her gratitude to CONVERGENCE for making it possible for first-generation homeowners like herself to make the ‘life-changing’ decision toward homeownership, removing one of the main barriers to increasing racial equity in the housing sector.”

The City of Columbus joins the Mortgage Bankers Association, PNC Foundation, Park National Bank and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing as investors in this fund, bringing the downpayment assistance program to $640,000. Teye-Kasongo noted she hopes the fund will reach a million dollars by the end of the summer.

“Special recognition and gratitude go out to the Products & Programs workstream, co-led by D.J. Valentine, Huntington National Bank and Qiana Jones, Just Listed Real Estate, whose behind-the-scenes diligence and hard work undeniably made this win possible,” Teye-Kasongo said.

Also on Monday, JPMorgan Chase joined Huntington Bank and Fifth Third Bank as inaugural sponsors of the CONVERGENCE Columbus coalition. “Thank you, JPMorgan Chase, for accelerating the fight to create a more equitable world for the Black and minority residents of Central Ohio,” Teye-Kasongo said.

CONVERGENCE Columbus launched in 2021 in partnership with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University and is now hosted by the nonprofit Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio. The coalition has developed a consumer-facing brand for CONVERGENCE and a website that serves as a shared marketing tool for partner organizations and an information portal for homebuyers.