Founded by a small group of residents who wanted to improve their distressed neighborhood, Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Services was created in 1987. Now doing business as NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center Sacramento Region (NeighborWorks® Sacramento), the organization has changed and grown, but the heart of its mission remains the same. Initially, Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Services served just four neighborhoods in Sacramento. Today, NeighborWorks® Sacramento serves an 11-county region and its program offerings include a full range of services to assist potential and current homeowners. The mission is to “provide opportunities for successful homeownership and strong communities through quality education, affordable lending, supportive partnership and dedicated leadership.”
The underlying goal of the activities NeighborWorks® Sacramento holds is to support the long-term financial success of local homeowners. In turn, this creates a stronger community that benefits everybody, regardless of their income level.
Many nonprofit organizations and local government agencies that helped homeowners have shrunk during the recent economic downturn. However the gap left by the disappearance of their services has been filled by NeighborWorks® Sacramento. In the last 24 months NeighborWorks® Sacramento has grown dramatically to meet the needs of the community, adapting with the market changes and to meet issues faced by community members.
Aside from more than doubling its staff in the past two years, NeighborWorks® Sacramento has grown in other ways. In 2010, NeighborWorks® Sacramento accomplished its longstanding goal of opening a branch office in Stockton. And in 2011, NeighborWorks® acquired the single-family housing programs from Mercy Housing California, which were slated for elimination. Preserving these programs saved jobs, as well as saving the critical homeownership services offered to many rural communities.
Also in 2011, NeighborWorks® Sacramento opened a Mortgage Help Center in partnership with Fannie Mae to provide direct assistance to borrowers seeking alternatives to foreclosure. Before 2006, barely anybody called in asking for help with avoiding foreclosure and such assistance wasn’t in demand. Just a few short years later in 2008, NeighborWorks® Sacramento provided foreclosure counseling to 1,123 households and continue to serve more than 1,000 concerned borrowers per year with free counseling.
In 2013, NeighborWorks® Sacramento purchased a second office in Oak Park to accommodate more space for customers. NeighborWorks® Sacramento has seen an increased interest in home purchase counseling as the economy rebounds and home affordability is better than ever. NeighborWorks® Sacramento is continuing to expand its home purchase services to help clients take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to buy.
And while changing economic times may lead clients to seek issue-specific assistance, NeighborWorks® Sacramento still stays true to its roots as a neighborhood organization looking to elevate its community through numerous services for local residents. In addition to its popular Oak Park Farmers Market, Crop Swap and Paint the Town events, NeighborWorks® Sacramento also provides leadership trainings and supports resident-led improvement strategies. By combining individual and community services, NeighborWorks® Sacramento plans to continue building healthy communities for at least another 25 years.