Support families with essential services

The home buying process can be overwhelming at the best of times. In recent months, the pandemic has made the process even more difficult. New Economics for Women (NEW) is helping Los Angeles-area families achieve their goal of homeownership during these difficult times.

In addition to homeownership programs, the nonprofit works to increase economic mobility, especially for Latino women and their families, through housing, education, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

SVB Private has worked with NEW for many years to finance the construction of affordable housing on once vacant and derelict properties, some of which date back to the recent foreclosure crisis. We recently caught up with Alicia Matricardi, General Counsel and Director of Real Estate Development at NEW.

How are you helping your customers in these difficult times?

NEW had to drastically change the way we work, but we continued to serve families with services and housing designed to stabilize our most vulnerable families. Throughout the pandemic, our doors have remained open as a provider of essential services. NEW has served thousands of families with these services this year alone, which has been quite a challenge given the social distancing rules and low access to online services presented by our client population.

How can other members of the SVB private community help you at this time?

Donations for some of our safety net programs would be an effective way to support our work. Donors have set up private funds to pay families who have to pay rent or for week-long stays in motels to ensure that families do not have to become homeless or live in their car. The flexibility of these gifts is irreplaceable to us. These donations also covered the cost of our PPE and other equipment, site security upgrades, and staff overtime and meals that we had not otherwise budgeted for in the past year. Anyone interested in donating can do so on our website, neweconomicsforwomen.org

What lesson have you learned throughout this crisis?

We have learned that the ability to pivot – to stay responsive is one of the most important skills we can have. How quickly can we get staff back to the field? How can we interact when we can no longer “interact” as we used to? Our willingness to change is a key factor in our ability to survive. Look at what our client families are going through every day of this pandemic. We have to be up to it because our families have to do it too and they have no choice in the matter. To stay in tune with them, we need to pivot and keep doing so in order to get through this together.

Michelle J. Kelley