Who is NCST?

A growing divide permeates the U.S. housing recovery, especially in many working class communities where high rates of vacant, abandoned and distressed properties depress the value of nearby homes, create health and safety risks, lower local tax revenues and complicate challenging neighborhood stabilization efforts. The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) is a non-profit organization dedicated to collaborating with local partners and national stakeholders to ensure the return of distressed properties to productive use and accelerate neighborhood revitalization.

How does NCST support the work of my local housing community?

NCST is primarily involved in four distinct activities: (1) The expedited transfer of foreclosed properties and distressed asset from financial institutions to community buyers. (2) The provision of financing through our REO Capital Fund – a fund that aggregates monies from private philanthropic and social investment sources to support the financing needs of community stabilization programs. (3) We support and work with non-profit and private sector housing providers, state and local governments and federal agencies to develop effective programs that help return more renovated foreclosed or abandoned homes back to local housing stock. (4) The work of a housing advocate – we provide a national voice on behalf of our sponsor organizations and the broader housing community. Together we find solutions and strategies to ensure that neighborhood stabilization programs are effectively implemented and successful.

So does NCST work with Real Estate Professionals?

Yes. We fully recognize and value that Real Estate Professionals are the eyes and ears of their local housing markets and neighborhoods. NCST needs the support of the local real estate community. We know you work diligently to provide a valuable service to financial institutions. Many of our community buyers are real estate brokers, or employ real estate professionals on their staff. We understand and appreciate that real estate professionals are in the forefront for changing negative perceptions about a neighborhood – an important role in the rebranding and ultimate revival of a community.

How does NCST’s work benefit Real Estate Professionals?

When a neighborhood is stable, that means that property values are maintained, neighborhood schools perform better, local businesses thrive and the area becomes desirable for future homeowners and renters. This is good news for the neighborhood, for homeowners and for local real estate professionals.

How does NCST select and qualify its buyers?

We maintain and uphold a strict set of guidelines. Each of our buyers must have: a community presence and at least two years of real estate project development experience, sufficient capital resources from public or private resources, the capacity to assess, acquire, manage, rehab and convey local properties, a housing-related business strategy that not only involves the purchase, rehabilitation and sale of a home, it must also convey a broader scope that includes foreclosure prevention and community social investments, a concentration in a clearly defined geographic area so that a visible impact can be achieved, and solid relationships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other local stakeholders.

How does NCST define its buyers’ market areas?

Neighborhood stabilization efforts are most effective when concentrated, which is why our community buyers are required to focus in their targeted neighborhoods. These areas are defined by where our buyers provide services specific to housing counseling and affordable housing redevelopment, and by broader city or county revitalization programs. In rural areas or small communities we often identify a larger regional nonprofit to partner with community buyers to ensure a full range of services is provided.

Foreclosure numbers are down, yet it seems like a lot of properties go through NCST. Why do the financial institutions still use your programs?

Foreclosures are down from previous high volumes. However, many communities have not recovered; in fact, some neighborhoods have more abandoned homes than they did before – this is what we call left-behind neighborhoods. In many areas there remains a lack of buyers and a lack of available financing, or a combination of both. NCST and our community buyers are committed to not leaving any neighborhood behind – as long as there are neighborhoods in crisis, we have work to do.

Why would a community buyer sell a home only making minimal repairs? I thought the idea was to make these homes move-in ready for a new owner occupant.

As you know, each home situation and sale is different. In many cases our buyers complete extensive rehabilitation that includes energy efficiency upgrades for systems or appliances that have outlived their useful economic life. Sometimes we do see homes that don’t need many repairs, and with a good “freshening up” these homes are ready for owner occupants. In other cases the community buyer may currently have several homes for sale, and one home may be moved to the market quickly in order to provide funding for more extensive repairs on another home. In every case our buyers must meet FHA minimum housing quality rehabilitation standards to participate in NCST programs.

How does NCST follow-up on its community buyers’ end purchasers?

We use a web-based program called REOTrack to verify the purchaser is a targeted owner occupant at 120% of Area Median Income (AMI) or below. Every community buyer is required to enter detailed information about the purchaser into REOTrack. This information may include restricted deeds, property liens, rental agreements and ongoing rent rolls. NCST also follows up on each sale using a combination of post-closing reporting and site visits to ensure our community buyers appropriately use properties to stabilize neighborhoods.

I believe that one of NCST’s community buyers is guilty of fraudulent activity – what should I do?

NCST has no tolerance for fraud. We go to great lengths to vet our program participants to ensure they comply with all guidelines. If you uncover a suspected instance of fraud, please notify us immediately. Provide very specific details about the alleged fraud in an email to inquiries@stabilizationtrust.com. We will take the appropriate actions to research and remediate any fraud.

We’ve heard about communities that have a high HUD Neighborhood Risk Score – what does that mean and how does HUD determine the score?

Basically, the HUD Risk Score is an index from multiple sets of data to help determine if a neighborhood is at risk. The HUD Risk Score index incorporates home value changes, number of residential vacancies, mortgage delinquency rates, the prevalence of non-conventional high-cost loans, unemployment rates and area median income. Keep in mind that rising home values are only one measure of a neighborhood’s health. There is no better data available that incorporates the level of detail found in the HUD risk score model. Further, the data inputs in the model have a much lower variance rate than home values and do not need to be updated as often as a model that relies solely on point-in-time data.

Are NSP and NCST different?

Yes, they are different. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is a grant program established by HUD to stabilize communities that suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. NCST is a national nonprofit (501c3) organization. NCST and NSP formed the first ever public-private partnership of its kind, joining together to make the HUD National First Look REO property acquisition program available to all NSP grantees. This program allowed NSP grantees an exclusive window of access to indicate interest in and make offers on newly available REO properties.

How can I contact you?

You may contact us through our online form .