1. Message from the Board Chair
NHSSF Board Chair
This year will be etched in our collective memories for a long time. The global pandemic has had a profound impact on our health, sense of safety and security, and our economy. It also highlighted that some communities – particularly communities of color and essential workers – endure more than their fair share of these challenges. Our challenge, then, is not only to support our neighbors through this difficult time but to help our community emerge from the immediate crisis better than it was before.
As the COVID-19 virus initially reached South Florida and authorities established social distancing measures, NHSSF was one of the first organizations of its kind to move its services to a virtual format, we developed new financial training and counseling programs and, in partnership with local foundations and government, we administered financial assistance for renters and homeowners. Our efforts contributed to housing stability for hundreds of families and demonstrated that resilience and innovation in adverse circumstances are essential qualities of the organization.
2. Committed to Our Legacy
Kimberly T. Henderson
President & CEO
Celebrating 40 years of existence in 2018 gave us some perspective on what we have achieved. Still, most importantly, it has allowed us to envision what we want to do in the 40 years to come. We are grateful for, and we acknowledge NHSSF's history. However, our focus is now on preparing ourselves in the best way possible to move forward into the future, with a steady yet resilient pace, ready to face the challenges and changes that are already here, knocking at our door, demanding from us innovative and collaborative solutions.
The evidence of an evolving housing affordable inequality in South Florida is not a concern we can keep sweeping under the rug. When 60% of the working population in the urban area of Miami is housing cost-burdened; when the affordable housing stock available will fall well below 50% in the coming years; when climate change and sea-level rise increases the pressure over many of Miami's historic neighborhoods (already threatened by gentrification and the displacement generated by the high-cost building market). When all of this is happening right now and seems irreversible, determined actions from all stakeholders involved are more crucial than ever.
NHSSF was founded by committed local community members in 1978 as a response to disinvestment and redlining practices that were impacting a small neighborhood in north central Miami. Since then, we have evolved into a comprehensive community development organization providing homeownership support, financial literacy, and neighborhood stabilization to thousands of families in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Our key accomplishments in the last decade have included:
- Serving as one of two organizations accepting referrals for foreclosure prevention services in South Florida. By scaling up our operations quickly, we were able to prevent foreclosure for 822 residents in our community between 2008 and 2012.
- In 2010, we were the lead agency in a collaborative initiative to deploy $89 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Funding from HUD to support Miami’s recovery from the 2008 recession. This was the largest NSF grant distributed to a nonprofit organization in the country at the time. Through this project, we formed a consortium of community development organizations to purchase and rehabilitate 450 properties for rent and 290 properties for homeownership, as well as support the redevelopment of 425 vacant residential properties.
- In 2012 and again in 2018, NHSSF partnered with the Wells Fargo LIFT initiative to offer homebuyer education as well as down payment and closing cost assistance to hundreds of homebuyers in Miami (2012) and Orlando (2018). This significant partnership was designed to stabilize communities hit hardest by the recession.
Today, our organization is once again pivoting to address the most urgent and important needs facing our communities. We know there are significant challenges facing families, hopeful homebuyers, businesses, and local government in the context of a pandemic and a nationwide reckoning with centuries of racial injustice. We also know that, by working together, we can all achieve greater prosperity.
4. Mission & Community Endeavor
South Florida encompasses some of our country’s most diverse and vibrant communities –neighborhoods that are home to individuals and families from all over the world. As a bustling center for international trade and tourism, our regional prosperity increased exponentially over the last decade. However, this prosperity resulted in rapidly rising housing and rental costs that have quickly outstripped wages for most local residents.
Today, the median home sale price is unaffordable to 90% of all workers in Miami-Dade County and 88% of Broward County households (Miami Affordable Housing Master Plan; Broward County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment). As the pandemic highlights the consequences of dwindling financial stability and homeownership in our region, it is clear that our neighbors need support to achieve both short- and long-term financial sustainability.
For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida has filled a crucial gap in the housing market by working with families who need access to financial education and capital. We work in close partnership with private lenders and government agencies, providing specialized expertise in housing strategies and programs, the many different housing markets throughout South Florida, and different types of home loans that work best for low-wealth families.
Building on this expertise, we have a vision for working across sectors to achieve a better, more resilient version of our community, one in which a safe place to call home is available to all residents and our neighborhoods maintain the vibrant racial and cultural diversity that makes our region unlike anywhere else in the world. We are working to advance prosperity for all South Floridians through Homebuyer Education & Counseling, Lending, Real Estate Development, and Community Transformation, all of which are celebrating key successes in the last year.
We are committed to the following outcomes:
- Residents who are educated consumers in their housing and financial choices
- Residents who have access to appropriate financial products for buying and maintaining their homes
- Housing that is environmentally safe, decent, and financially affordable for homeowners and renters
- Stakeholder and resident-driven revitalized neighborhoods where residents, businesses, and local governments choose to invest time, money, and energy
5. Our Vision for NHSSF
6. Theory of Change
Bringing innovative practices and solutions to our programs and services
DATA DRIVEN SOLUTIONS
Data mining to better understand the families we serve to tailor our services and programs
Aggressively exploring the intersection between community development and other sectors such as health, environment, clean energy, transportation, and the arts
PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATION
Steadfastly understanding that through creative multi-sector, partnerships with stakeholders, government, and other nonprofits we can achieve more an go further in making impactful change to the families and communities we serve
7. Center for Homebuyer Education, Financial Well-Being and Foreclosure Prevention
For many low to moderate-income families, homebuyer education and counseling is a requisite first step to securing your first home loan. At NHSSF, we offer a comprehensive and proven curriculum and one-on-one counseling for up to 1,500 clients a year through the Center for Homeownership, Financial Wellbeing and Foreclosure Prevention.
Our model tackles the 3 “Cs” of financial capability and homeownership: access to housing financing Capital, Credit repair, and offering programs that build Confidence to join the ownership society. Our multi-cultural staff reflect the communities we serve, which allows us to individualize services for each client depending on need and offer services in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
*According to the 2019 report from the National Realtor Association, the average economic impact of a home sale in Florida is $77,219: https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-state-economic-impact-of-real-estate-activity-fl-04-14-2020.pdf
Once approved for a mortgage, most homebuyers must then decide how to combine government-sponsored down payment and closing cost assistance programs with private loans. As one of the only Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) in South Florida offering residential mortgages NHSSF is uniquely positioned to connect low wealth families to capital, creating opportunity for individuals and serving a community that both government and private lenders find difficult to reach and serve effectively without our support. We offer a number of flexible lending tools and help customers navigate a broad range of state and local government sponsored down payment assistance programs.
In 2020, we dramatically grew our lending capacity to fill a significant community need highlighted by the community members we serve and our public/private partners. Our once small team now includes three Mortgage Lending Officers, One Underwriter/Processor and One Processor – specialized expertise and capacity that rivals that of most local private lending offices. With this increased staff support, we anticipate providing loans to 50 families in the next year.
Two stories from our lending staff:
Being confined at home to ease the curve didn't mean holding us from working toward our clients' dreams.
During these past months, Carlos, our lending manager, kept in close contact with many families who wanted to see their dream to have a home come true.
Hands-on your dream!
"Eddie and Marie Jean were referred to me by my colleague Gigi, housing counselor at NHSSF, back in March, when the pandemic was beginning. From that moment on, I practiced a hands-on approach, guiding them through the process of buying a house, their first house, which today they could finally enjoy. I am so happy for them."
9. Real Estate Development
Even when all of the other pieces fall into place, South Florida families must still be able to find housing at the right price point. Because local housing prices are so out of sync with local incomes, that housing can be hard to find. NHSSF specializes in developing single family homes at a price point affordable to families making less than $50,000 per year. Additionally, we have developed an extensive network of partner realtors and developers who help connect the families we serve to affordable homes and refer prospective homebuyers to our homeowner counseling and lending programs.
This year, NHSSF met its fiscal year goal by rehabbing or constructing 8 homes for low- and moderate-income families in Miami Dade and Broward Counties. Next year, we anticipate building or rehabilitating 10 affordable homes and connecting 30 families to homes developed by our partners.
10. Community Building & Transformation
To achieve our vision of a more vibrant, inclusive future for South Florida, we know it is not enough to focus exclusively on opening the door to homeownership for individual families. So, we work in partnership with community members, other nonprofit organizations, business leaders, and government agencies to advance strategies and programs that will ensure prosperity for all South Florida residents. In this work, we see our role as magnifying the voices and perspectives of local residents to ensure that their needs and identities are front and center.
Together, we can work to: 1) combat segregation and discrimination in local housing policy; 2) reform outdated and ineffective government housing initiatives; and 3) generate community-wide buy in for new models of affordable housing that will keep housing prices reasonable for generations instead of just a few years.
Key accomplishments in the last fiscal year include:
- Administered two emergency rental and mortgage assistance programs in the midst of the Covid-19 health and economic crisis. Together, these programs have put emergency financial resources in the hands of 75 South Florida households so far. We are grateful for the support of the City of Miami, the Community Foundation of Broward, and the Jim Moran Foundation, who provided funding for these rapid response initiatives
- Formalized partnership to expand the use of clean energy and solar technologies in neighborhoods around Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Collaborated with the Live Healthy Little Havana collective impact initiative to identify how zoning policies impact health outcomes
- Redesigned our website to conform to ADA guidelines
- Grew the number and range of partners to strategically expand our impact
11. Audited Financials & Impact
Every year, NHSSF undergoes a third-party financial audit by a public accounting firm. The external, independent auditor provides a full review of the corporation's financial statements in accordance with formal industry standards. It is in the best interest of the communities we serve as well as our fiscal responsibility to the many stakeholders we partner with, to make public the results of NHSSF 2020 audit. Below you can find a summary of the inspection.
To request the complete audit report, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.