Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
In an article appearing in Yahoo Finance, NeighborWorks America says there's danger in doing nothing. Several measures that individuals and communities can take to stabilize their neighborhoods and protect property values are laid out in this article.
Let us know some of the things you or your neighbors are doing to safeguard and invest in your neighborhood. Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Monday, January 25, 2010
NeighborWorks America supports the homebuyer tax credit and urges all homebuyers to seek homeownership education from a HUD-approved nonprofit organization — like NeighborWorks Waco — before purchasing a home. Jacinto’s story demonstrates the importance of this counseling. By working with NeighborWorks Waco to clean up her credit, Jacinto was ready to take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit when it was announced last February. She now owns an affordable three-bedroom, two-bath home, which she purchased with a 4.9 percent FHA-insured 30-year loan.
The tax credit was set to expire in December 2009, but it was expanded and extended through April 30, 2010 so more individuals could take advantage of the program.
Friday, January 22, 2010
NeighborWorks’ Achieving Excellence Program Named Finalist for National Housing Conference “Pioneering Housing Strategies” Award
“We are delighted the National Housing Conference has recognized the NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program. Achieving Excellence is an innovative organizational investment program that transforms the way community development nonprofits do business. As a result, nonprofits are better equipped to increase the availability of quality affordable housing, stem the tide of foreclosures, and revitalize communities,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.
NeighborWorks is currently accepting applications from nonprofit leaders for the 2010-2011 Achieving Excellence class. The application deadline for the Achieving Excellence program is March 15, 2010. Applications, as well as additional program information, are available online at www.nw.org/ae.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
NeighborWorks America COO Eileen Fitzgerald Urges Homeowners to Watch Out for Loan Modification Scams
She urged homeowners to be cautious about whom they go to for help when facing foreclosure and described some of the warning signs that a scam may be taking place. Fitzgerald directed homeowners to http://www.loanscamalert.org/, the Web site of a national campaign that Congress asked NeighborWorks America to launch to raise awareness of this national problem. She also said homeowners in trouble can find free, trusted help by going to http://www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org/ to locate a HUD-approved housing counselor.
Listen to the interview here. It is the first Home and Family Finance podcast listed and the segment starts about 10 minutes into the broadcast.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The FHA will propose to take the following steps: increase the mortgage insurance premium (MIP); update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers; reduce seller concessions to three percent, from six percent; and implement a series of significant measures aimed at increasing lender enforcement. Source: HUD
Friday, January 15, 2010
The NeighborWorks organizations received the funding as part of consortium partnerships with state and local government offices, the private sector, and other nonprofits in their communities, and will build on the stabilization efforts already underway in many communities. Stabilization efforts include acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition of vacant or abandoned foreclosed properties, and/or financial assistance to low- to middle-income homebuyers to purchase foreclosed properties.
For more information about the grants and the organizations that received them, please visit the NeighborWorks newsroom or StableCommunities.org.
According to Senator Sanders, the $500,000 project is the largest of its kind in the state. The grant, secured from the U.S. Department of Energy, will put solar equipment in 80 apartments in Salmon Run. It will also help finance installation of water heaters in 322 more apartments at three other affordable housing developments in Vermont. The grant will be matched by $700,000 in additional public and private funds, according to Senator Sanders.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The national Loan Modification Scam Alert campaign has put together 10 tips to help homeowners seeking foreclosure prevention assistance this year:
1. Contact your lender first as soon as you get concerned about paying your mortgage.
2. Determine your options by speaking to your lender's loss mitigation department.
3. Be patient but persistent with your lender, because getting a loan modification takes time.
4. Call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE. Trained counselors are available 24 hours a day to provide assistance in multiple languages.
5. Connect with a local HUD-approved counseling agency for free by calling 1-888-995-HOPE or visiting http://www.loanscamalert.org/.
6. Beware of loan modification scams. Some companies and individuals are out to take advantage of homeowners seeking loan modifications.
7. Avoid anyone who asks for a fee prior to providing any loan modification service, including companies, individuals and even some lawyers.
8. Avoid anyone who guarantees to get your loan modified or stop a foreclosure, because nobody has the power to make this promise.
9. Avoid companies that tell you to stop paying your mortgage and to pay them instead. This is a sure sign of a loan modification scam.
10. Report loan modification or foreclosure scams at any time by visiting http://www.loanscamalert.org/ or calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
CHP, which is based in Christianburg, VA, is the lead applicant and grant administrator for a collaborative partnership in the region called CREATES — Construction, Retrofitting and Energy-Efficiency Assessment Training and Employment Systems. The partners include Virginia Tech, NewVA Corridor Technology Council, New River Community College, Wytheville Community College, Virginia Western Community College, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Investment Board, and the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board.
Together, the partners will use the funds to upgrade regional training capacities, develop and implement new curriculum components, offer appropriate energy conservation certification opportunities, and provide preferred education to upgrade the skills of construction and retrofitting industry workers in order to help them compete in cutting-edge green building occupations.
"Today's announcement is part of the administration's long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic revitalization and a clean energy future. It's an investment that will help American workers succeed while doing good," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on January 6, when the announcement was made. "Our outstanding award recipients were selected because their proposed projects will connect workers to career pathways in green industries and occupations through critical, diverse partnerships."
“This important funding will lead program participants to job placement while also promoting smart, sustainable energy use that will have a positive long-term impact for generations to come,” said CHP’s President and CEO Janaka Casper.
Monday, January 11, 2010
NeighborWorks America, the nation’s leading trainer of community development professionals, is now accepting applications for the 2010-2011 class of its renowned NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence in Community Development program.
Achieving Excellence is a comprehensive organizational development program that results in senior managers at local nonprofit organizations that are better equipped to address the critical challenges faced by their organizations, produce real results in their communities, enhance fundraising capacity even in tough economic climates, and foster collaboration and innovation inside the nonprofit sector.
Participants in the past four classes – 180 leaders from every region in the U.S. who participated in Achieving Excellence classes since the program began in 2002 – report significant improvement in their businesses and improved service to even more people.
For example, leaders who finished the third class in February 2008 reported a 146 percent increase in people served, or more than 53,000 community members across America, specifically because of their participation in the program.
Moreover, the participating organizations attribute a 32 percent increase in the number of affordable housing units developed, or more than 1,100 new affordable homes, to the skills learned and the strategic plans developed while in the Achieving Excellence program.
The application deadline for the Achieving Excellence program is March 15, 2010. Applications, as well as additional program information, are available online at www.nw.org/ae.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The institute takes place March 1-5, and around that time we are encouraging participants to volunteer on days on which they may not otherwise be attending classes. Opportunities are available on Sunday, February 28, before the Institute, as well as on Wednesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 4.
On those days, volunteers will be divided into teams to work on houses in various forms of completion. Volunteers do not need to be skilled in construction to participate — there will be jobs for everyone, from landscaping and hardscaping to painting and other rehab work, both inside and out.
Registration to volunteer is separate from registration to attend the NTI. Find out more here. We hope you will consider participating in this exciting and rewarding opportunity!
Learn more about the NeighborWorks Training Institute in New Orleans.
Sign up for the Symposium, Investing for Change: Leveraging Community Assets in Rural and Small Cities.