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

an African American woman smiles as she looks to the right

The freedom that comes with owning a home

In the same way as buying a home is not a matter of a singular transaction but a process that spans over time, our relationship with clients doesn’t always end when they sigd the contract of their new home: we have been fortunate enough to establish lasting relationships with several clients who have approached us to seek help to achieve their dream -and keep it alive.

Ms. Coakley is one of those South Florida residents we have been fortunate to walk with for several years now. In 2009, she took the homebuyer workshop with us, which we offer to all those searching for information about acquiring their first home. Back then, we guided her through the process and helped her purchase her home through a mortgage loan that, combined with other programs, enabled her to leave the renter’s life behind. For 12 years now, Ms. Coakley has happily owned a home in the City of Miami- within the Midtown neighborhood.

“[Back then,] I was a renter, and becoming a homeowner was a whole big change. The expectations of being a first-time homeowner are different, and also the challenges that being a homeowner brings because I never had one [a homeowner] in my family. I was the first one in my immediate family to buy a home.”

And like Ms. Coakley, many NHSSF clients are stepping into homeownership for the first time. Therefore, the information they receive from our workshops and counseling sessions have an additional value since, in a high percentage, they might be the first in their family environment to learn all the ins and outs of becoming a homeowner:

“You all walked me thru and guided me and help me with all of the steps I needed to take. If it wasn’t for you, I do not know what I would have done.”

And like almost every experience in life, get educated about something is a continuum. After acquiring her home, Ms. Coakley kept taking post-purchase classes with us (in 2010, 2012, and 2013). At that time, we offered “home assessment” courses to educate homeowners relating to the constant need for supervision of their new assets. Now, we continue to provide “post-purchase” classes to prevent homeowners from falling into foreclosure or showing homeowners the road to financial sustainability after the home purchase.

Talking about her experience as a homeowner during COVID-19, Ms. Coakley shared:

“It was a great relief because, during the pandemic, a lot of people fell behind since they couldn’t afford to pay the rent.”

She has kept up with her mortgage payments. By working hard, she has been able to avoid applying for any forbearance program in the market.

After 12 years of enjoying her home, Ms. Oakley seems interested in making some improvements, though. In this sense, she’s an ideal candidate for the Resiliency & Energy Efficiency loan program that we’re about to launch. Her home already has impact windows, but she would like her appliances to be energy efficient and thus enhance her home’s energy consumption.

When asked about what is, in her opinion, the most remarkable thing about owning your home, Ms. Coakley concludes our conversation with a firm conviction:

“I love being a homeowner; I wouldn’t take it back. It changed my life because I have the freedom into owning. The freedom into doing things I want to do to my own home.”

Energy Efficiency & Resiliency Survey graphic

Shape the future with us: Energy efficiency & resiliency survey

Some exciting news is coming right from the oven: we are currently in the process of finalizing our new Resiliency and Clean Energy Lending Program! The program’s ultimate goal is to help homeowners retain the value of their homes by implementing protection measures against extreme weather events, and improving their houses’ overall energy conservation capacity. Furthermore, the program aims to facilitate solar and other clean energy measures to help reduce the operating costs of homes.
To better understand how we can serve the community and ensure our lending product fits the needs of our community, we created THIS SURVEY. In less than 5 minutes, you can help us shape the future of our communities by providing us critical data about the most efficient resiliency & clean energy measures needed across South Florida and the equitable financial paths to put those measures in your hands.

By helping communities of low- to moderate-income participate in the economic development of clean energy and resiliency measures, overall equity and environmental impact, we’ll bring holistic development into our community and throughout the South Florida region. In addition, this survey will help ensure that we can reach everyone who wants to improve their homes, their quality of living and take part in the climate fight have their voices heard.

The lending program that would come out of THIS SURVEY will be funded by a grant awarded to us by OFN to support CDFIs, who like us, work on expanding affordable renewable & energy efficiency financing products and services that benefit the most underserved families in our communities.

Give us 5 minutes of your time and share your input with us.


And if you have other family members, friends, or colleagues who own their home, share the survey with them to ensure we reach a broad and diverse group of voices, SHARE THE SURVEY


And thanks for being our ally and helping to shape the future of South Florida with us!



Moldea el futuro con nosotros:
Encuesta de eficiencia energética y resiliencia


En NHSSF tenemos noticias importantes que queremos compartir contigo. ¡Actualmente estamos en el proceso de finalizar nuestro nuevo Programa de Préstamos para Eficiencia Energética y Resiliencia! El objetivo final del programa es ayudarte a administrar el costo de operación de tu casa; proteger tu propiedad de daños por eventos climáticos extremos; aumentar el valor de tu propiedad e invitarte a unirte al movimiento para proteger nuestro medio ambiente a través del uso de medidas de energía renovables.

Además, el programa tiene como objetivo ofrecerte la oportunidad de invertir en medidas de resiliencia con el objetivo de prevenir el abandono o la pérdida total de tu propiedad, en caso de huracanes y otros eventos climáticos extremos. Al igual que con las energías renovables y las medidas de conservación de energía, las medidas preventivas de resiliencia, como puertas y ventanas para huracanes, plataformas elevadas para sistemas de aire acondicionado, etc., mejoran la protección física tanto de tu familia como de tu propiedad.

Para comprender mejor cómo podemos servirte a ti y a la comunidad de propietarios en el Sur de la Florida y asegurarnos de que nuestros términos de préstamo se ajustan a tus necesidades, creamos ESTA ENCUESTA.


Y ayúdanos a moldear el futuro de este nuevo programa de préstamos brindándonos tu opinión sobre las medidas más necesarias de eficiencia energética y resiliencia para ti y tu familia.

Y si tienes otros familiares, amigos o colegas que sean dueños de su casa, comparte la encuesta con ellos para asegurarnos de que llegamos a un grupo de voces amplio y diverso. COMPARTE LA ENCUESTA:


¡Gracias por ser nuestro aliado y moldear el futuro del Sur de Florida con nosotros!