Innovative Housing Opportunity for Working Families

    City of Welland chosen as site for innovative housing project
    spear-headed by Meridian Credit Union, Opportunities Niagara and
    Royal LePage

    WELLAND, ON, April 4 /CNW/ - A new, one-of-a-kind pilot project aimed at
making the house-buying dreams of working families a reality was announced
today by the City of Welland Mayor Damian Goulbourne.
    "For many, home ownership is a cornerstone of what it means to live and
interact in a community. A single-family, owner-occupied dwelling unit is
central to the modern conception of a secure and successful life," said
Goulbourne. "The partnership between Opportunities Niagara, Meridian Credit
Union and Royal LePage shows a true commitment to helping people achieve their
personal goals while making our community stronger."
    The goal of the project is to help working families who are currently
renting and may believe they cannot afford a mortgage, buy their first home.
If the initiative proves a success, it will continue in other areas across
Ontario, noted Sean Jackson, President and CEO of Meridian Credit Union.
    "For me, this program reinforces what I believe Meridian is all about -
helping real people build lives. If the pilot proves to be successful, it is
definitely something we would like to undertake in the other markets we
serve," said Jackson.
    Through information sessions and seminars, the program hopes to dispel
several mortgage myths which often deter qualified home buyers.
    "There are a great many hard working people who believe that home
ownership is an impossible dream for themselves and their families. This
program proves that home ownership is within their reach. We are truly
creating new opportunities in Niagara," said Peter Papp, Executive Director,
Opportunities Niagara, a community based organization formed to reduce poverty
and increase the quality of life of Niagara residents.
    Through a series of individual interviews with project participants,
Meridian will choose several successful mortgage applicants. Royal LePage
Niagara's Roman Grocholsky, Sales Representative, will work to identify homes
within the financial reaches of the accepted families. Royal LePage has
committed 25 per cent of the real estate fees to cover mortgage legal costs.
    "We know the value and the sense of security owning your home provides,
and that is why we wanted to help with this project," said Grocholsky. "We can
only hope that this is the tip of the iceberg for projects such as this one
which involve community and corporate collaborations to help better lives."
    Successful applicants will receive a best in market mortgage rate and
free life-long financial coaching for themselves and their children, a service
Meridian provides to all of its clients.
    "I am especially proud to be involved with this program because I come
from a family that rented and was never able to own a home," said Jackson. "As
a result, I can speak from personal experience when I say how important it is
for parents and for their children to be able to buy a house."


    -   Families can learn more about the program through advertisements in
        the Welland Tribune or by attending an information seminar on
        April 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the City of Welland Community Room.
    -   Through individual interviews with applicants, Meridian will approve
        the mortgage applications.
    -   Information will be mailed to market-rent tenants of Niagara Regional
    -   Mortgages will be insured and Meridian Credit Union guarantees the
        best mortgage rate

For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Scott Windsor, Meridian Credit
Union, (416) 597-5124 (office), (416) 707-5425 (cell),; Interested participants can contact: Geri
Morrone, Welland Branch Manager at (905) 732-7372; OR: Roman Grocholsky, Royal
LePage, at (905) 734-4545 or

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