Washington, DC – Today, the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) announced its leadership of two national initiatives. First, NCST announced the formation of the Homeownership Alliance, which will advocate for more resources and better policies to increase affordable homeownership opportunities for American families. Second, NCST announced it will join NeighborWorks America (NWA) as a partner in leading the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative, which brings attention to neighborhoods across the country that have long been stable communities for middle and working class families, but that today are at risk of either decline or displacement from gentrification.
These initiatives both arose in response to unmet needs the national advocacy landscape, and they aim to fill those gaps. Together, they represent a significant new commitment of resources to NCST’s policy work aimed at preventing neighborhood blight, promoting stable communities, and supporting affordable homeownership.
The Homeownership Alliance’s members comprise some of the leading nonprofit, mission-focused homeownership practitioners from across the country. These organizations prepare families to become successful homeowners and finance, renovate, and develop affordable homes that are assets for communities and the families that live in them.
“The organizations in the Alliance share the belief that in the United States, homeownership has long served as the most accessible path for families to build assets,” stated Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership President and CEO John O’Callaghan, one of the founding members of the Alliance. “In addition to increasing wealth, homeownership provides families with the stability needed to achieve other positive outcomes, especially for children.”
The Homeownership Alliance will focus on both legislative and regulatory opportunities to increase funding for affordable homeownership by improving and expanding existing programs and creating new sources of funding. Guided by its members, the group’s advocacy will reflect the experiences of and lessons learned by some of the nation’s most innovative and resilient homeownership developers and lenders.
Kris Siglin, Vice President for Policy and Partnerships at NCST, who is leading the formation of the group, explained, “Mission-driven homeownership practitioners need a voice in Washington that secures new resources for affordable homeownership and bolsters the capacity of nonprofits who operate in this sector. Creating this coalition will provide a more focused, practitioner-driven voice for homeownership than currently exists in the housing advocacy spectrum.”
“As we look for look for strategies to confront inequality and reduce the racial wealth gap, affordable, sustainable homeownership is our nation’s most proven tool to build wealth for families and stabilize communities,” added NCST President Julia Gordon.
The Homeownership Alliance has 21 Founding Members. They are: Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (GA); cdcb (TX); Center for Community Self Help (NC); Champlain Housing Trust (VT); CHN Housing Partners (OH); Cinnaire (MI); Community Housing Capital (GA); Fahe (KY); Homewise (NM); Hogar Hispano (DC); Housing Development Fund (CT); Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (IN); MaineStream Finance (ME); Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (IL); NeighborWorks Columbus (GA); NeighborWorks Southern Colorado (CO); NeighborWorks Western Vermont (VT); New Jersey Community Capital (NJ); Renaissance Community Loan Fund (MS); The Housing Partnership, Inc. (KY); and The Resurrection Project (IL).
In addition, ten national partners will participate in the Homeownership Alliance’s policy development and advocacy: Enterprise Community Partners; Grounded Solutions Network; Habitat for Humanity; Housing Partnership Network; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; NALCAB -National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders; National NeighborWorks Association; Opportunity Finance Network; Prosperity Now; and Unidos US.
NCST is joining with NeighborWorks America (NWA) as partners in leading the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative, previously housed at The American Assembly at Columbia University. By bringing attention to middle neighborhoods, this initiative supports the continued health and vitality of these neighborhoods so that they can remain safe, affordable communities that offer a high quality of life and access to opportunity. You can learn more at middleneighborhoods.org.
“We are delighted to announce that NeighborWorks America and NCST will be leading the fight for America’ middle neighborhoods. Both of these organizations have a track record of supporting practitioners working to strengthen and rebuild neighborhoods across the country,” said Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director of the Greater Chatham Initiative in Chicago, IL. Fears is a member of the National Middle Neighborhoods Steering Committee and a co-chair of the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice.
Going forward, NCST will coordinate national Middle Neighborhoods activities, including conducting research on neighborhood dynamics and developing policy proposals for supporting and investing in middle neighborhoods. NCST will also lead a communication effort focused on the importance of devoting resources to middle neighborhoods. The Steering Committee will continue to advise NCST on the direction of the initiative.
NCST President Julia Gordon stated: “Strong, stable middle neighborhoods offer a high quality of life, affordable housing, and access to opportunity for their residents, many of whom are households of color. The fate of middle neighborhoods matters immensely for racial and economic equity, and NCST is excited to bring its commitment and experience in fighting disinvestment and blight to the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative.”
NeighborWorks America will support the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice, which brings city officials and neighborhood-based organizations from across the nation together with policy makers, academics, financial institutions, and foundations interested in these efforts. The Community convenes for peer-to-peer learning to share local best practices for supporting middle neighborhoods.
In the coming months, the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice will redouble its efforts at recruitment, communication, and collaboration among practitioners and will also catalogue how communities are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. NCST will publish new research on the dynamics and importance of middle neighborhoods and develop policy agendas for supporting and investing in middle neighborhoods.
About NCST: The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) strengthens communities by facilitating the redevelopment and reuse of vacant, single-family homes by providing community-based buyers an opportunity to acquire distressed properties through its REOMatch™ platform and by advocating for policies that prevent neighborhood blight, promote stable communities, and support affordable homeownership.
About NeighborWorks America: For nearly 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. (NeighborWorks America), a national, nonpartisan nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and safe, affordable rental housing.