Columbus Urban League Receives $300,000 Grant from KeyBank to Tackle Central Ohio Housing Instability Issues

Grant dollars will support Columbus Urban League’s mission of dismantling systemic barriers faced by Black and Urban Communities and investing in people’s strengths to stabilize families and grow wealth
May 9, 2024 9:00 AM ET
The Columbus Urban League and KeyBank representatives shown with a $300,000 grant check.

KeyBank and the KeyBank Foundation announced an investment of $300,000 in the Columbus Urban League (CUL), aimed at bolstering its innovative Housing Accelerator Program (HAP).

HAP provides wrap-around case management services to assist vulnerable Columbus residents in accessing or maintaining affordable housing, developing generational wealth and receiving career services to promote financial independence.

“For more than 100 years, Columbus Urban League has helped improve the lives of thousands of people across Central Ohio and is a major advocate for systemic change,” said Lara DeLeone, KeyBank’s Central Ohio Market President. “We are thrilled to support CUL, and the Housing Accelerator Program, to promote safe, quality and affordable housing for the individuals and families they serve. The wrap-around services CUL provides are vital for understanding and building a stable financial future.”

“The HAP is the next solution in response to the recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” said Jeaneen Hooks, Vice President of Programming at CUL. “COVID-19 exacerbated affordable housing issues that predated the pandemic and that still has deep disparities that threaten the strength of an economic recovery which must work for everyone. With this transformational investment from KeyBank, we can maximize the impact of this short-term intervention to provide mid-term financial independence and long-term self-sufficiency.”

Those who qualify for the HAP include:

  • Homeless, at risk of homelessness
  • Unemployed or under employment
  • Fleeing-domestic violence
  • Justice-involved (non-violent crimes)
  • Previous eviction filings
  • Those with 620 or lower credit score

The program will pair clients with a Housing Counselor, Wealth Navigator and Job Coach to help identify the supports needed to successfully complete the housing education program (core curriculum consists of analyzing credit reports, improving credit scores, debt management, adhering to budgets, understanding credit scoring, savings, etc.) and start their new career.


KeyCorp's roots trace back nearly 200 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $187 billion at March 31, 2024.

Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,000 branches and approximately 1,200 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank Member FDIC.


The 105-year-old Columbus Urban League (CUL) is an advocate and resource for Black and urban communities that is dedicated to growing wealth, education, earning power and small businesses while also supporting strong families. Driven to advance racial equity and social justice, CUL has distinguished itself as an effective organization in numerous ways, including as one of only ten organizations to be selected for funding by One Million Black Women and by earning ranking as one of the top five percent of all 93 National Urban League affiliates. For more information, visit