photo of the NHSSF building at 300 NW 12 Avenue

Partner Selected for New Affordable Senior Housing Site in Little Havana

Volunteers of America National Services Selected Development Partner for New Affordable Senior Housing Site in Little Havana

August 2, 2021


ALEXANDRIA, Va./MIAMI, Fl., August 2, 2021—Volunteers of America National Services was selected by Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF) to partner on a senior affordable residential housing project to be known as Freedom Pointe in Miami, Florida. The project is slated to be completed in 2024. VOANS is the wholly controlled nonprofit subsidiary of Volunteers of America created as the sponsor and parent entity for new Volunteers of America housing development projects.

Over 40 years, NHSSF has served Miami-Dade and Broward families and communities from its offices located in one of the culturally eminent neighborhoods in Miami: Little Havana. Only in the last five years, from 2015 to 2020, NHSSF has provided 150+ residential loans, developed 29 single-family units, created over 900 new homeowners through their homebuying educational & counseling programs, and contributed to an economic impact over $160 million across South Florida.

Little Havana, a historic and iconic neighborhood, is a symbol of inclusiveness and a testament to the immigrant synergy that built our city. In the same spirit, NHSSF decided to partner with Volunteer of America National Services to build a mixed-income affordable housing development on land currently owned by the nonprofit. The proposed project will include the demolition of the existing building at 300 NW 12th Ave., Miami, FL 33128, and new construction of mixed-use affordable housing for seniors, as well as office development, as NHSFF plans to maintain its headquarters in the newly developed building.

Consisting of 75 units for seniors, the property will be green oriented and will include supportive services to residents as well as a ‘health hub’ in the building. VOANS intends to implement its Aging with Options program, so that residents can safely remain in place as long as possible. Additionally, the fourth floor will include outdoor amenities such as a walking path, garden and patio area.

The demand of affordable housing in South Florida was already excruciating before the pandemic brought more pressure over it. Recent factors such as the current seller’s market, record-low housing inventory numbers, supply chain disruptions impacting construction prices, and the year-over-year rise in home prices alongside a growing population and a recovering economy reinforce the need for affordable housing options in a post-covid world. “With this new development, NHSSF is taking concrete measures toward alleviating the affordability challenges in the market,” said Kimberly Henderson, President & CEO of NHSSF regarding this new housing project.

“VOANS is thrilled to develop this site in Little Havana and work with NHSSF to provide on-site supportive services and amenities.  We are looking forward to revitalizing this site by creating new affordable housing while providing a safe healthy environment so residents can thrive.” said Sharon Wilson Geno, EVP and chief operating officer, Volunteers of American National Services.

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About Volunteers of America National Services

VOANS, part of the Volunteers of America family of organizations, provides affordable housing and healthcare services in over 40 states in Puerto Rico.  The organization employs over 3,100 professionals who provide high quality services and care to our clients.   As one of the largest non-profit affordable housing owner/operators in the nation, the VOANS portfolio includes over 240 properties and 15,000 affordable housing units. VOANS also operates over 46 senior healthcare programs, including skilled nursing, assisted living, home health care, adult day and Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).  For more information on VOANS, please visit our website at

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America, is a national, faith-based nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, Volunteers of America supports and empowers America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including the housing and health care services provided by VOANS, Volunteers of America helps 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. For more information, visit

About Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida

Established in 1978, NHSFF is a certified Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and an accredited community development nonprofit serving South Florida residents for over 40 years. NHSSF is committed to advance prosperity for all South Floridians through Lending, Real Estate Sales, Housing Development, Home Buyer Education & Counseling, and Community Transformation. NHSSF is also a chartered member of the NeighborWorks® America. In this capacity, we are part of a nationwide network of over 240 chartered community development organizations and one of the twenty that serve Florida residents. NHSSF provides its full spectrum of homeownership services in English, Creole, and Spanish to assist potential homebuyers in reaching their homeownership goals. For more information visit us at:



Laura Sildon, Volunteers of America National Services

240-447-3418 or

Juan Gordillo, NHSSF, 786-237-2122 or

Neighborworks Anti-Scam Campaign

NeighborWorks network organizations build awareness about scams

by Madelyn Lazorchak, NeighborWorks America’s Communications Writer


Symphony Malveaux, community relations coordinator for Louisiana’s Mid City Redevelopment Alliance, had been reading up on home scams as she prepared to bring awareness to her community through NeighborWorks America’s Stop Home Scams initiative. Then she realized she’d nearly fallen victim to a scam herself.

Malveaux had inherited her family home and was trying to figure out how to make back payments when she received a letter telling her that for $500, a company would adjust payments and in just months, the home would be hers.

At that emotional time, the offer seemed like a lifesaver; she was ready to grab hold, she says. But as she began to research the company, it didn’t appear to exist. She phoned repeatedly. No one returned her calls. She’d come close to being scammed, she says, and she wrote about her experience for Mid City’s website. “I wanted to show it could happen to anyone.”

As she continues to publicize the Stop Home Scams initiative, which NeighborWorks began in January 2021 with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, she continues to connect with her community. Recently, she heard from woman who had inherited a home and was having trouble with back payments. “It was just like me,” says Malveaux, who ended up selling her inherited home to a family friend. “We were able to connect and offer resources. It’s good to be able to have a personal story we can share with people. We can tell them, ‘You’re not alone.'”


Raising awareness about scams – in Spanish

Juan Carlos Gordillo, marketing and communications coordinator for Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida knew how important it was for members of the community he worked with to get information about scams in their native language. He had seen similar outreach by healthcare organizations offering vaccines.

“Here in South Florida, it’s super important,” he says. “There are a lot of people that don’t speak English – or don’t speak it that well. They won’t pay attention to that information unless it’s provided in their own language. Without it, they might miss crucial information.”

In the South Florida region he serves, a significant portion of the population speaks Spanish (1.7 million) or Creole (more than 100,000). In that context, Gordillo began translating information about scams into Spanish as he publicized the Stop Home Scams initiative for the nonprofit’s social media pages. Last month, NeighborWorks released a Spanish version of its Stop Home Scams website, hoping to protect as many individuals as possible from mortgage and rental scams.

Gordillo, who began sharing that information, too, says NHSSF is now looking at hiring a Haitian Creole translator. Meanwhile, NHSSF continues to create public awareness of housing and mortgage scams, which are on the rise across the country, exacerbated by an economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

So far, his clients haven’t reported scams related directly to housing, he says, but some residents – and even staff members – have been approached with other types of scams, often via text message. The NeighborWorks initiative talks about how to report scams to the authorities.


A scam scare in South Dakota

Maureen Nelson, senior program director at Grow SD, says a resident in his 80s came to her recently holding a letter he’d received on a pink piece of paper. “Final notice,” it said, demanding that he renew his home maintenance contract. “The pink paper made him nervous,” she says. “He didn’t have a contract and he doesn’t need one. I told him it wasn’t a good investment.”

Nelson says the letter was a good reminder of the type of scams that are out there. Grow SD is working to raise awareness of home and rental scams as part of the Stop Home Scams initiative. “People have to keep seeing it; they have to keep hearing about it,” Nelson says. Grow SD is constantly putting messages about scams on social media. They also sent press releases to newspapers across the state.
A grant from NeighborWorks, with support from the Wells Fargo Foundation, helps with outreach. “Ask questions. That’s the biggest thing I tell people,” Nelson says. “If you get something in the mail that doesn’t make sense, ask about it.”



This story was originally posted on NeighborWorks America’s website

infographic detailing NHSSF CDFI program

U.S. Treasury awards NHSSF with $490,000 under its CDFI Rapid Response Program

U.S. Treasury awards $1.25 billion to support economic relief in communities affected by COVID-19. In that regard, NHSSF CDFI will receive a $490K Rapid Response Program allocation to respond to economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved African-American communities across South Florida. The announcement was made today by Vice President Harris alongside Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and U.S Representative Maxine Waters.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury today awarded $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief funds to 863 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The awards were announced today by Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House with Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. The grants will be made through Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program (CDFI RRP) and will provide necessary capital for CDFIs to respond to economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved communities.

“In serving places that the financial sector historically hasn’t served well, CDFIs lift our whole economy up. We know that for every dollar injected into a CDFI, it catalyzes eight more dollars in private-sector investment, meaning that today’s announcement might lead to an additional $10 billion in investment,” said Secretary Janet Yellen. “The President and the Vice President ran on a very ambitious agenda – ‘Build Back Better,’ unwinding systemic racism, creating an economy that works for everyone. I believe this is what that looks like in practice. By channeling more capital into CDFIs, we are translating those ideals into reality.”

The CDFI RRP grant funds will be used to support eligible activities such as financial products, financial services, development services, and certain operational activities, and to enable CDFIs to build capital reserves and loan-loss reserves. The CDFI Fund designed the program to disburse the funds rapidly in light of the nationwide economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDFI RRP was authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260).

“These awards provide CDFIs with an unprecedented level of flexible capital to help distressed and underserved communities across the country take meaningful steps towards recovering from the debilitating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. “CDFI RRP awards will enable CDFIs to help businesses keep their doors open, help families make ends meet, and help maintain important community facilities during this difficult time.”

CDFI RRP award recipients are headquartered in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The award recipients include 58 organizations that committed to direct their awards to investments in Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian communities; they received a total of $54.6 million in awards.


NHSSF CDFI awarded with $490K RRP allocation

“As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we specialize in providing financial products and services to people and communities underserved by traditional financial institutions, as well as traditional mortgage products. We are thrilled to be part of a reinvigorated movement to bring about greater economic equity across all social groups and with the deployment of these funds, be a catalyst for recovery and economic growth in the communities we serve,” stated Kimberly T. Henderson, President and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.

For more than 40 years, NHSSF CDFI loan fund has implemented progressive community development strategies resulting in revitalized communities and financially empowered families. As a CDFI we have been able to build a nonextractive and trust-based relationship with the communities we serve.

NHSSF seeks to leverage our CDFI RRP allocation as a powerful tool to assist government in solving complex problems centered on connecting low-wealth families to capital, and thereby financial opportunity. Through the innovative use of our CDFI, we envision a South Florida in which low-wealth communities have access to the capital they need..

  • To build affordable housing,
  • To revitalize neighborhoods,
  • To assist small businesses that advance prosperity for all,

..while financial institutions and social impact investors have a partner meeting the needs of low-wealth communities.


You can view the announcement here:


A CDFI can be a bank, credit union, loan fund, or venture capital fund. The CDFI RRP award recipients include:

  • Loan funds: 463 organizations receiving $571.3 million in awards
  • Credit unions: 244 organizations receiving $401.8 million in awards
  • Banking entities: 149 organizations receiving $267.1 million in awards
  • Venture capital funds: seven organizations receiving $9.4 million in awards


About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $61 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and closed guaranteed bonds for over $1.7 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.



NHSSF is a certified CDFI and an accredited community development nonprofit serving South Florida residents for over 40 years. We are committed to advance prosperity for all South Floridians through Lending, Real Estate Development, Home Buyer Education & Counseling, and Community Transformation. NHSSF is also a chartered member of the NeighborWorks® America. In this capacity, we are part of a nationwide network of over 240 chartered community development organizations and one of the twenty that serve Florida residents.


You can read the official press release from the U.S. Department of Treasury here.

For more information about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit www.cdfifund.go


infographic detailing NHSSF CDFI program