Monday, September 24, 2007

Cleveland Home Owners In a Bind Take Note: Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland Can Help

Lou Tisler of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHSGC) made an important point on my latest post on short sales. Many of us know we should 'call our lenders' before it's too late but we are still too timid or worried to do that. NHSGC can do the legwork for you.

His second important point was that you should never pay anyone to be the intermediary, to help you with your mortgage issues. Lou has sent me a press release on NHSGC and I'm going to post it here in it's entirety. Please call your lenders. Or please call Lou at NHSGC.

Ohio Housing Finance Agency Adds $3.1 Million
to Ohio NeighborWorks® Foreclosure Prevention Tool Box

New Fund is to Assist Middle Income Homeowners
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland Creates New Loan Product to Fight Foreclosures in Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio – Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (NHSGC), part of the Ohio NeighborWorks® Foreclosure Prevention Initiative, will distribute $3.1 million in flexible grants from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA). In combination with an investment of over $3 million from NeighborWorks® America, this is a much-needed foreclosure prevention boost in Ohio.
The OHFA grant will assist middle income homeowners and provide up to $3,000 in a zero percent deferred soft second loans to borrowers facing foreclosure, with a possibility of going up to $5,000 depending on the amount of the mortgage payment. Overall 12 organizations throughout Ohio will use the funds.
The OHFA funds, together with the previous award of $1.5 million from the Office of Housing and Community Partnerships (OHCP) and the NeighborWorks grants, are expected to enable the Ohio NeighborWorks® organizations to assist over 1,500 Ohio families avoid foreclosure.

“This is another tool in the toolbox that will help us rebuild Cleveland communities,” said Lou Tisler, executive director of NHSGC, the organization administering the OHFA funds. “We were missing a way to help people who are just getting by but are behind on their mortgage and on the verge of getting into trouble. Now NeighborWorks organizations can help more low- and middle-income borrowers, which is important because this problem is spreading into middle-income neighborhoods.”

NHSGC educates homeowners through financial literacy, homeownership education and counseling, working with the Homeowner’s™ HOPE Hotline -- 888-995-HOPE (4673) -- to connect homeowners at risk of foreclosure with HUD-certified counselors.

“OHFA generally focuses on first-time homebuyer products, so this is one of their first sustainability-focused products,” said Tisler. “Coupled with a refinance product they recently made available, OHFA is enabling NeighborWorks organizations in Ohio to develop the cutting edge products that will help all levels of homebuyers get out of this crisis.”

Sparked by 1978 legislation, NeighborWorks America created the NeighborWorks network of community development nonprofits charged with closing the homeownership gap; improving financial literacy; rebuilding and repairing properties; developing affordable multifamily units; and, using community development strategies to improve safety and build wealth. In 2007, NeighborWorks America will provide over $75 million in grants to its national network of 244 nonprofit organizations operating in nearly 4,500 communities.

The need for NeighborWorks organizations has never been greater. High quality, affordable rental housing is needed to build healthy and sustainable communities. Personal debt is rising among consumers. Mortgages are becoming increasingly complex and risky, which means homeowners are becoming progressively more susceptible to foreclosure. And, stubborn wealth gaps persist.
“As stewards of taxpayer dollars, NeighborWorks ensures our investments are working in ways that truly make a difference,” said NeighborWorks America Great Lakes District Director Paul Poston. “We thank Congress and our other private, philanthropic and public funders who make our work to empower consumers and strengthen neighborhoods possible.”
About Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland
Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland is not-for-profit community development corporation incorporated in 1975 to promote investment and revitalization of communities in Northeast Ohio As one of the original chartered members of NeighborWorks® America, a network of over 230 organizations working in nearly 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide, the mission of Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland is to provide ongoing programs and services for achieving, preserving and sustaining the American dream of homeownership.


Lou Tisler
Lou Tisler, Executive Director
Neighborhood Housing Services
of Greater Cleveland
5700 Broadway Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44127
216.458.HOME (4663) ext. 12
216.458.4672 fax