22 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by zyla417
Patch Instagram photo by zyla417

Single Mother Received Keys to Home Made Possible by Bank of America and Habitat Pinellas

Single Mother Received Keys to Home Made Possible by Bank of America and Habitat Pinellas
After years of frequent moving to avoid neighborhood crime, overcrowding, rundown living conditions and high rent increases, a Clearwater mother’s dream of providing a safer, more stable life for her two young sons came true last week when she received the keys to their new home as a result of a property donation by Bank of America to Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management resident director Kerry Clapper and Bank of America market manager Ann Shaler presented the keys to Melissa Bogdan and her sons.

The property donation and Habitat for Humanity program provided an opportunity for homeownership that the low-income family could afford.

“With the help and guidance of Habitat, I am able to give my family a better life and stability,” said Bogdan, whose younger son has special needs. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise. I can already see more joy than we’ve had in years.”

The Bank of America donation is part of a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity International through which Bank of America is donating up to 2,000 vacant properties for renovation or reconstruction. The donations also provide opportunities for Bank of America employees to volunteer as properties are built or rehabbed.

Under the strategic alliance, Habitat will turn the Bank of America donations into affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County has received more than 20 property donations from Bank of America over the past 18 months.

“Bank of America is happy to work with Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County on our goal of connecting Tampa Bay families with affordable housing and strong, vibrant neighborhoods,” said Bill Goede, Tampa Bay president, Bank of America. “We’re excited to help revitalize communities, one house and family at a time.”

After receiving the property from Bank of America last year, Habitat Pinellas had the former blighted house demolished to make way for the newly constructed home, which was built with the help of several hundred community volunteers.

“The new home on this previously abandoned property will now be owner-occupied and will be a stabilizing presence in the community,” said Ron Spoor, chief operations officer for Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County. “The donation of this property by Bank of America assists our efforts to provide affordable housing ownership opportunities while helping to revitalize neighborhoods throughout Pinellas County.”

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