NHS East Chatham Revitalization Program Ending Soon

6/1/2016, 10:41 a.m. | Updated on 6/1/2016, 10:41 a.m.
In 2007, at the beginning of the housing market crash, neighborhoods that were on the rise soon fell back into ...
The NHS location that services the Chatham and Auburn Gresham community is located at 449 W. 79th St Photo Courtesy of Photo Neighborhood Housing Services

NHS East Chatham Revitalization Program Ending Soon

By Monique Smith

In 2007, at the beginning of the housing market crash, neighborhoods that were on the rise soon fell back into despair and declining property values due to the excessive number of foreclosures.

People who were invested in the communities they resided in could no longer afford to stay in their homes. While developers took advantage of the opportunity, incomplete rehab projects soon became targets for local thieves or squatters. In other cases, developers who couldn’t sell their properties, often rented out their units to whoever had the cash which sometimes resulted in more criminal activity.

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) has been working and helping to rejuvenate communities throughout the Chicago land area for more than 35 years. Deborah Moore, Director of Neighborhood Strategy and Planning says NHS has been working to rebuild communities like East Chatham for years, but soon the East Chatham area program will end.

“NHS is a neighborhood revitalization organization that is committed to helping homeowners and strengthening neighborhood throughout Chicago.” In conjunction with the city’s Micro-Market Recovery Program, NHS is working to reinvest and rejuvenate the East Chatham community (east of Cottage Grove Ave.) When the Micro-Market Recovery program was first launched more than 4 years ago, the city identified target zones that would start to see interventions. These are communities that have higher rates of foreclosures, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The city wanted to partner with local groups and get vacant buildings into the hands of responsible nonprofit organizations that would develop them into new homes and apartments for residents. Neighborhood Housing Services is a nonprofit housing organization and one of the first nonprofit lending institutions, they along with the Community Investment Corporation, a leader in the multifamily rehab lending industry, are working to turn the community around.

Since its’ start in 1975, NHS has served more than 219,000 families throughout Chicago. The organization has issued loans through its corporate lending arm, Neighborhood Lending Services. More than $597 million dollars has been loaned to borrowers to buy, fix, or keep their homes. NHS has saved more than 800 homes from foreclosure and offer foreclosure counseling and home buyer education classes. For buyers who are interested in purchasing a property, but who may not know where to start, NHS can help every step of the way with the goal of increasing home ownership.

NHS wants residents to return and live, rent and purchase homes in communities it serves. Although there is grant money to support programs in targeted areas, the deadline is quickly approaching for the East Chatham area program which ends this year. Buyers must be prepared to close on their homes by the deadline date in order to qualify for any of the incentives. One condition of the program is that any multifamily property that’s purchased must be owner-occupied. “When owners live in the community with other residents, they’re invested in the success of that community,” said Moore. For More information on the East Chatham revitalization initiative, call NHS at 773-329-4010 or visit www. NHSchicago.org.