Citizens Bank,The Champlain Housing Trust announced today that the Citizens Bank Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to help create a new program that provides financial fitness counseling to applicants of its rental housing. CHT has long provided home buyer education counseling, post purchase counseling, delinquency intervention and foreclosure prevention services.‘Thanks to the Citizens Bank Foundation, we are able to expand our services and to try a new approach,’ explained Chris Donnelly, Director of Community Relations at CHT. ‘Because of poor credit or other solvable issues, we have to turn away some rental applicants. We have found that with guidance, people can start to repair credit or set themselves on a more stable path. So instead of saying ‘No’ to these people, we want to be able to say ‘Yes, but only if you work with us.’‘‘We are thrilled to be able to provide this support to improve the financial fitness of low and moderate income households,’ said Brigitte Ritchie, VP, Community Investments at Citizens Bank. ‘The Champlain Housing Trust has a proven track record and we are happy to help them expand their program.’The education and counseling curriculum is currently under development and in the next few months CHT will begin to provide rental applicants with the opportunity to participate in the program. The expectation is that as many as 200 people will benefit from the counseling in 2011.About the Champlain Housing TrustThe Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties, CHT owns or manages more than 1,500 apartments, stewards 485 owner-occupied homes in its signature shared-equity program, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans. In 2008, CHT won the prestigious United Nations World Habitat Award, recognizing its innovative, sustainable programs. More information is available at www.champlainhousingtrust.org(link is external).About the Citizens Bank FoundationCitizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on housing, community development and basic human needs. CFG’s website is citizensbank.com.