NHS: Chicago’s Best Kept Secret
Tom Opper, Chief Program Officer
Given that perfect moment, have you ever failed to recognize someone, or an organization, that deserved recognition for their great work?
Well, over the Holidays, North Branch Works held an event to celebrate our partners and promote the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities’ Urban Weatherization Initiative. As the Master of Ceremonies, I was responsible for introducing our speakers and recognizing our partners who are critical to our success. Regrettably, as I tried to forget nobody, I did just that. I forgot to mention Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS).
Since 1975, NHS has become one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets. When it comes to helping build and strengthen our neighborhoods by helping people to live in affordable homes and improve the quality of their lives, NHS has no equal. However, with all of NHS’ success, you would think they were one of Chicago’s worst kept secrets. For whatever reason, I stood in front of the right audience and became a part of the reason that NHS remains one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets.
Therefore, with the greatest hope of making NHS one of Chicago’s worst kept secrets, I would like to introduce Neighborhood Housing Service.
North Branch Works 2013 “HEAT Up Your Holiday” Event
Above: Cathy Philbin – Good Electric, Ted Wysocki – North Branch Works, Cynthia Stewart, Neighborhood Housing Services
Below: Ebony McLaurin – North Branch Works, Darris Shaw – Neighborhood Housing Services, Tom Opper – North Branch Works
NHS creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their neighborhoods. They do this by: educating and preparing new homeowners for success, lending to help people buy, fix and keep their homes, sustaining home ownership through foreclosure prevention services, preserving, rehabbing and investing in housing and building powerful and enduring community partnerships.
NHS promotes community development through six neighborhood-based programs offering home ownership, lending, and rehab services: Auburn Gresham/Englewood, Back of the Yards/Garfield Boulevard, Chicago Lawn/Gage Park, North Lawndale, Roseland, West Humboldt Park, and in suburban Elgin as well as south suburban Cook County.
NHS operates NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers at its citywide location, Roseland, North Lawndale, and Back of the Yards and NHS of the Fox Valley (both offering bi-lingual homeownership classes.) The Centers are an innovative approach to providing—in one location—all the services and training customers need to purchase, rehabilitate, insure, and maintain a home. NHS’ Homebuyer Education classes are offered in English and Spanish, and are available online. NHS also provides extensive foreclosure prevention services at all of its office locations through the Home Ownership Preservation Initiative.
Neighborhood Lending Services (NLS), the lending arm of NHS and an Illinois Residential Mortgage licensee, administers loan programs that finance home improvement, home safety repairs, home purchase, and home rehabilitation for low- and moderate-income families.
The NHS Redevelopment Corporation (NHSRC) buys and redevelops single- and multi-family properties and builds and sells new homes. NHSRC is also responsible for administering the City of Chicago’s receivership program for 1-4 unit buildings, securing vacant properties and promoting neighborhood stabilization. Redevelopment activity is strategically targeted to support the work of the neighborhood-based programs and promote neighborhood development. NHSRC owns and manages 289 multi-family and 22 single-family units of low-income rental housing.
To find out more about NHS of Chicago, visit www.nhschicago.org or call us at (773) 329-4010.