WHAT'S HAPPENING AT NHSSA
NHSSA is constantly working in the community to help families through the housing cycle. We love highlighting those success stories, plus we want to keep you up to date with the latest housing industry news.
Neighborhood Housing Services San Antonio Creates Amazing Home Makeover
Click on the photo to see pictures of the exterior and interior of the home.
Most people have seen the TV shows where the homeowner turns over their home to a makeover specialist and is amazed at the transformation during the big reveal. NHSSA recently completed one of its most startling home renovations at 434 Overhill, which is near St. Mary's University. And now, that beautiful new home is available for purchase at an affordable price.
This home has been renovated from top to bottom, which includes a new roof, floors, paint and all new eat-in kitchen design. The indoor laundry room makes it an exceptional home for your family. There is a huge backyard for family gatherings and some landscaping will be provided.
Upcoming First Time Homebuyer's Classes December 8 and 9
The next First Time Homebuyers classes, which are still being taught online due to the COVID-19 issues, will be held Tuesday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 9. Classes will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. each evening. To earn your certificate you must attend both nights.
You can register by contacting by phone or email:
210-533-6673 ext. 302
This unsolicited photo was sent in by Leonard Rodriguez. One NHSSA staffer said the hopeful photo almost made her cry.
A Helping Hand During the Pandemic
The UnidosUS Esperanza/Hope Fund (UUSE/HF) $25,000 grant was a valuable source of funding for NHSSA at a critical time as the organization adapted to the challenges associated with the 2020 global pandemic. The grant enabled NHSSA to leverage other sources of funding that became critical to the changing needs of its low-to-moderate income clients.
“In addition to keeping our staff employed and helping the community, we were able to add some community outreach services to help us reach people in need,” said NHSSA Executive Director. “The UUSE/HF grant tied nicely with the other sources of funds we obtained and enabled us help families pay for rent, mortgage obligations and utilities. We also purchased some grocery gift cards which families put to good use. All recipients were required to demonstrate direct impact caused by COVID-19 and we were able to quickly process those applications.”
NHSSA Customer Expresses Gratitude for Assistance
Raquel Garcia is a fan of Neighborhood Housing Services San Antonio (NHS), and she’s not shy in talking about it.
“For starters, I worked at NHS many years ago and learned a lot about how the organization helps the community through its housing programs,” she said. “After NHS, I worked for the insurance company USAA as a mail processor before I hurt my back and couldn’t work. So I’ve been living on Social Security disability for a few years but I’ve always maintained my home loan, which I got from NHS back in 1995.”
Like many people, Raquel and her family were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her daughter used to pay her for helping take care of her one-year old, but she was laid off during the Coronavirus peak and that impacted Raquel’s income. So she turned to NHS once again.
“In my NHS loan payment statement, I read about the mortgage assistance program NHS was offering and so I quickly called to look into it. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was greeted with kindness and good info.
NHS helped me with the application, and to my surprise, I was approved for the assistance after only about a week. That was really a blessing and helped me stay current on my mortgage. One of the things I learned at NHS was about maintaining good credit. I’ve always known that was important and so staying current on my loan, even in these troubling times, has been a priority.”
Even though Raquel says she feels like she’s been through the ringer a couple of times over the last few years, she says there is some light at the end of this tunnel because she is getting close to paying off her home loan.
“Making that last payment on my house will be a very happy day for everyone,” she noted with a wide smile. “That will definitely help my budget. I wish I had the money to get it done now, but I know I will get there eventually. NHS has been a wonderful help to me over the years. From the very beginning, I was able to buy my home and fix it up, which included some foundation and plumbing work, with my first loan. Then, when times got a little tough, NHS came to the rescue again by helping me with extra time for payments until I got caught up on my finances. And just a few weeks ago, the NHS mortgage assistance program was the helpful hand that I needed when my daughter lost her job. NHS has gone above and beyond to help me during some the hardships, and I can’t really tell you how much that has meant to me and my family.”
The financial relief NHS provided to Raquel was made available from the COVID-19 Response Fund, a community fund jointly managed by the San Antonio Area Foundation and the United Way of San Antonio. The fund is comprised of nearly 30 caring businesses, donor advised funds, philanthropic foundations and government entities.
Partner Spotlight - NHSSA and Hispanics in Philanthropy Partner to Help 67 families in SA
Over the past few months, Neighborhood Housing Services San Antonio staff was able to turn a $20,000 grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) into assistance for 67 families in San Antonio financially affected by the COVID-19 virus.
“Upon learning about the HIP grant being awarded to NHSSA, we got to work quickly in getting the word out to the community about the available assistance and then accepting the applications from families who needed the help,” said Rosanne Lopez with NHSSA. “We essentially asked some basic family and income questions, but then we also asked each applicant to submit a short letter outlining their situations that warranted the help.”
NHSSA decided to purchase local grocery store gift cards in the amount of $300 per family. The applications were quickly processed and families were provided prompt financial assistance.
Many families reported having one of the parents receiving reduced hours for work due to the pandemic and having school-
aged children in the home. One family reported having a parent working at the Children’s Hospital being furloughed and the other parent being completely laid off. Many parents cited the need to stay home with their children for school reasons since in-school classes were canceled for months. One single mother noted that she had four children at home and also had her work hours reduced. Another single mother had to move in with her mother as she had become sick with the virus. So, she was not only a caretaker but a full-time mom and employee as well. Other applicants spoke of being quarantined due to contact with persons having the virus.
“Overall, we were very pleased to have been able to step into this issue and positively impact dozens of San Antonio families,” Lopez said. “We received many wishes of thanks from the recipients and those are always sources of inspiration in continuing our work. And, we are certainly grateful to have received the HIP grant and been able to make such a difference with the funds.”
NHSSA Reaching Out to Community in its "Ready to Own a Home" Campaign
While NHSSA has been adapting to the new realities of the COVID-19 world, the organization is encouraging community members to begin that process of buying a new home, most of which can be done online.
"We've created a small Facebook campaign to create awareness around the benefits of owning a home and to encourage people to give us a call to start the process," said Valorie Garcia, who manages the NHSSA Homeownership Center. "With our first ad, we reached nearly 14,000 people and created additional traffic to the homeownership page on our website. Plus, we've seen an uptick in actual phone calls. We're definitely encouraged by the responses and hope to continue this new avenue of community outreach."
In addition to communicating with the community in general regarding the home buying process, NHSSA has shifted some of its operations gears to offer more financial assistance through funding partners to families having COVID-related job issues. The organization has successfully distributed rent and mortgage relief funds as well as utility assistance and grocery cards to struggling families impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, NHSSA has been doing more rent and mortgage relief referrals to the City’s Emergency Housing Assistance Program and training and preparing NHSSA staff for more rental and mortgage delinquency counseling that is needed because of the turmoil in the economy.
NHSSA Las Bougainvilleas Southside Development
Planned for 2021
NHSSA is working with Engineers Without Borders to finalize plans for the Las Bougainvilleas housing development on the Southside of San Antonio. The housing development will include 51 single family homes and 10 affordable duplex rentals and help families find affordable housing despite escalating prices in the market. NHSSA will continue to keep the community informed on Las Bougainvilleas progress through this newsletter.
NHS of San Antonio Lending Program
We regret to inform you that until further notice, NHS of San Antonio has suspended our Lending Program (Down Payment & Closing Cost Assistance Loans). We continue to monitor the impact of COVID 19 on the local economy and we plan to reopen our lending efforts in the near future. We apologize any inconvenience this may cause you and your clients, but please know that we remain committed to the community and are making important short term adjustments to be more responsive to our community’s most immediate needs. Please visit our website for future updates. Thank you for your understanding and please stay safe.
City of San Antonio Rent and Mortgage Emergency Assistance
The City of San Antonio is offering financial assistance and referrals to our impacted community for housing needs. To this end, they have re-assigned some staff from current duties to take on different duties to assist with housing assistance application processing and the increased volume of calls for housing assistance programs over the last few weeks. You can find City assistance at this link.
NHSSA Addresses COVID-19 Issues
Neighborhood Housing Services of San Antonio – NHSSA remains committed to our community as we all join together to confront this serious health related pandemic that is impacting each of our daily lives. We are continuing to monitor the situation and we have already taken swift and bold actions to safeguard our staff, our volunteers and our clients.
The following are actions that we have already taken or will be taking soon:
We closed our offices – under the advice of our national and local leaders
We implemented a work from home policy – we remain open for business – observing regular business hours, but we must adapt to do our part to contain the spread of COVID – 19. Each staff member has a company issued laptop and we are monitoring email and telephone messages daily. We are able to retrieve voicemail from home, so please continue to leave messages and we will reply as promptly, as possible.
We will provide assistance to our existing Loan Clients, on a case by case basis. However, we will require proof that your income has been impacted by the COVID – 19 Pandemic (ie…termination or furlough letter from your employer, confirmation that you have applied for unemployment, etc…)
If you anticipate that you will have trouble meeting your monthly NHS Loan Obligation, please give us a call and we will help you navigate the options we currently have available.
Several resources are becoming available at the State, National, and Local level. NHS of SA is committed to securing emergency relief funds so that we can help our community to the best of our abilities.
All direct awards NHSSA has received have been fully awarded at this time. We will continue to post updates on our website, along with details on how to access future financial assistance programs should they become available.
As we continue to adjust to this unfolding situation, we wish each of you continued blessings and good health. We remain committed to our community and we will continue to work hard to help those in need. Please stay safe and healthy everyone, and check our website periodically, for updates.
NHSSA Home-Buying Counseling Creates Path Forward
This is one of NHSSA's recently renovated homes located on Woodlawn Avenue.
Every applicant to the NHSSA loan program is given the opportunity to take advantage of our home buyer counseling. During a typical home buyer counseling session, the housing counselor will do the following:
A personalized Credit and Budget Analysis – The counselor assesses your financial profile - including your employment history, credit history and assets - to determine which steps you need to take to be ready to begin the home buying process.
A personalized Affordability Analysis – Considering your stable income, your assets and your financial obligations, your counselor will determine how much home you can afford so you can begin shopping for your home.
A personalized Action Plan – This will serve as your step by step guide to successful home ownership. Your NHS counselor will work with you every step of the way to get you ready to purchase a home.
Once you work through your personalized plan, NHSSA can refer potential homebuyers to many of the organizations lending partners. NHSSA can also help with a down payment assistance loan which will reduce the amount of cash that would typically be required for a home purchase.
You can read more about financial counseling at: www.NHSofSA.org/loans.