John MIllen, Nationwide Media Relations, 614-249-6348
Karla Irvine, Executive Director, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, 513-721-4663
Dr. Milton Hinton, President, Cincinnati Branch NAACP, 513-281-1900 26, 1999
CINCINNATI, OH - Nationwide Insurance, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) and the Cincinnati Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") announced today that they have reached an agreement that will benefit Cincinnati homeowners, the residents of minority neighborhoods throughout Hamilton County, Nationwide, and the company's Cincinnati customers. The agreement results in an amicable resolution of litigation filed last year by HOME and the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP, as well as a group of individual homeowners.
"We believe this agreement is a winner for Cincinnati homeowners and for Nationwide as another important step in our continued growth in Cincinnati and urban markets throughout the country," said Lorraine Brock, Associate Vice President of Urban Markets Development for Nationwide.
Karla Irvine, the Executive Director of HOME, joined Nationwide in praising the agreement, "Nationwide has made a real and substantial commitment to better serve urban Cincinnati and its residents. With this agreement all parties will expend that energies to create and expand opportunities for homeowners throughout Cincinnati."
Dr. Milton Hinton, President of the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP, said "We welcome Nationwide's partnership in our efforts to enhance home-ownership opportunities and readily available insurance products in Greater Cincinnati. We believe that Nationwide's commitments announced today will make the dream of home ownership a reality for many Cincinnatians and promote economic development in urban neighborhoods."
Johnathan M. Holifield, of the Cincinnati law firm Manley, Burke, Lipton and Cook, which represented the Plaintiffs, said on their behalf that "the agreement reached with Nationwide is about more than just money. Nationwide's agreement to invest human, structural and monetary capital in urban Cincinnati offers significant opportunities to all Cincinnati residents."
Brook, on behalf of Nationwide, agreed that the resolution was good for both Cincinnati and Nationwide, "Nationwide believes that the urban communities of the Cincinnati area are viable and desirable. Nationwide looks forward to expanding its presence in this important market."
The terms of the agreement include:
- As part of its overall effort to achieve increased market share, Nationwide will open a Sales and Service Center in urban Cincinnati before the end of the year and will support that Center with appropriate ongoing advertising in local minority media outlets.
- Nationwide will make available $500,000 to create a program of low-interest loans designed to assist homeowners in paying for mortgages and/or home repairs.
- Nationwide will contribute $750,000 to fund a program to support Individual Development Accounts designed to encourage individual prospective homeowners to save those funds necessary to enable them to purchase homes.
- Nationwide will support the fair housing education and outreach efforts of HOME and the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP.
- Nationwide reaffirms its previous business decision to adapt its underwriting policies to be responsive to the age, value and replacement cost of housing in all markets.
This agreement is a continuation of Nationwide's active program to enhance its presence in urban communities throughout the country.