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Citizens Bank builds ‘Healthy Blocks’

Pictured from left to right: Eric Van Dusen, chief operations officer for NeighborWorks; Kim Brumber, NeighborWorks CEO; Holly Roth, business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank; and Elijah Wade, Healthy Blocks program manager. Courtesy Citizens Bank

Pictured from left to right: Eric Van Dusen, chief operations officer for NeighborWorks; Kim Brumber, NeighborWorks CEO; Holly Roth, business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank; and Elijah Wade, Healthy Blocks program manager. Courtesy Citizens Bank

The Citizens Bank Foundation has donated $20,000 to NeighborWorks Rochester to fund the Green Neighborhood initiative, part of its Healthy Blocks program to improve neighborhoods in the city.

The grant is part of Citizens Bank Foundation’s Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter initiative.

Through Healthy Blocks, NeighborWorks Rochester collaborates with homeowners, landlords, tenants and area businesses within targeted neighborhoods facing social and economic disinvestment, helping to transform them into “Neighborhoods of Choice.” The Healthy Blocks program will be working over the next year in the Triangle Neighborhood (bordered by Culver, Merchants and East Main), incorporating a “Green Neighborhoods” approach into the project.

As part of the initiative, NeighborWorks Rochester will educate residents on lowering their carbon footprint and improving the energy efficiency of their homes and apartments, and increase the number of property owners who make energy improvements.

“Affordable Housing has long been a priority giving area of the Citizens Bank Foundation,” said James P. Gaspo, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New York. “One way to keep homes affordable is to make them more energy efficient.”

The Green Neighborhood initiative will also provide residents with weatherization kits that include energy-efficient CFL bulbs, caulk and weather stripping. In addition, green-focused community improvement projects such as landscaping and community gardens will be implemented in collaboration with community residents.

“We are extremely happy to have Citizens Bank Foundation’s continued financial support and participation in the Healthy Blocks program,” said Kim Brumber, CEO, NeighborWorks Rochester. “Through Healthy Blocks, and the Green Neighborhoods initiative, we are working with residents and community partners to implement proven strategies that will strengthen neighborhoods, improve housing conditions and enhance neighborhood branding — all in an effort to reposition them so they realize their fullest potential.”

Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: Hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. More information is available at www.citizensbank.com/community.