A New Year with Similar Challenges

Welcome to 2019. As we begin our work, we recommit to our challenge of revitalizing neighborhoods through single family rehabilitation and affordable resale. Although the housing market in most of the country has stabilized, there are still many areas that are struggling. Consequently, major challenges remain for NCST and its partners. Today, I’m going to concentrate on two of them. First, in many neighborhoods within our urban focus markets, housing stock remains blighted, abandoned or very substandard. Second, previously owner-occupied single family housing stock is being quickly converted to rental properties by large institutional investors.

By Rob Grossinger, President, NCST

Simply driving through many of our urban neighborhoods illuminates the stark contrast between healthy and unhealthy housing markets. While the majority of the portfolio coming through NCST is not in the dire condition of years past, NCST still sees properties that qualify for $1 sales due to the property’s condition. In 2019, as in all other years, NCST is redoubling our commitment to finding both buyers and the capital necessary to rehab and sell these properties as affordable, owner-occupied homes. Without massive building of new housing, which seems unlikely, making the best use of existing housing stock remains a priority. Wherever blighted single family housing stock can be saved, NCST will work with developers and capital providers to accomplish that outcome.

One of the more disheartening consequences of the housing crash of 2008 has been the influx of private equity into this distressed market, resulting in a huge transition of single family housing from owner-occupied to rental. Over 5.4 million single family houses have converted from homeownership to rental during this time. This equates to a jump in the percentage of single family homes as rental from 17% to 23%. While single family rental has long been part of the landscape, this large jump is not a healthy development for homeownership or for neighborhood stabilization.

NCST will continue to work with all of our partners to increase the rehabilitation and re-occupation of single family homes for homeownership. We will also seek new capital for our buyers to allow for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the properties offered through our First Look program.

In 2019, we look forward to continued partnership with you as we keep up our best efforts to create a sustainable environment for single family rehabilitation work and to seek new capital solutions. I invite your ideas and thoughts – send me an email and let’s talk.