How Do We Think about Neighborhood Revitalization in 2018?

Happy New Year to all! As I looked over my 2017 New Year’s message, I realized I could cut and paste that year’s message and it would work perfectly. The good news is that we’re all still here and working on our common issues. The bad news is we solved few if any of the seemingly intractable housing problems our communities face. Quoting from last year’s message, “Communities with a high rate of vacant and abandoned properties remain as prominent today as they did a year ago. Real estate markets that are economically broken still maintain a gap between the cost of acquisition and rehabilitation versus the “as rehabbed” sales price the market can sustain.”

With this in mind, how do we think about neighborhood revitalization in 2018, especially in the current political climate?

We know we will play defense to preserve federal and state programs that work and to maintain the level of funding now committed to affordable housing. But playing defense alone can’t be the only goal.

One thing we can do is pay close attention to the continued push by institutional investors to buy whatever single family homes they can, especially now that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have indicated they want to keep funding these investors to purchase and rent single family homes. In 2018, NCST can aim to be the alternative acquisition, rehab and affordable disposition strategy to assist in true neighborhood revitalization.

NCST also plans to focus on the ever-present need for capital to allow our Community Buyers to better meet the needs of their neighborhoods. Additionally, we will pursue opportunities to increase the inventory that comes through our platform and to improve the pricing of that opportunity.

While next January’s message may paint a similar picture, it is always important to remember that “slow but steady wins the race”.

Rob Grossinger serves as President of NCST.