HousingPolicy.org Forum

This thread is part of a four-part webinar series intended to provide practical information on key areas that have proven to be challenging for those attempting to implement neighborhood stabilization plans. Sessions in the series will be useful to NSP grantees and partners as well as others who are working on this issue.
Click here to learn more about the series.

This session will focus on acquisition strategies for communities that are attempting to purchase foreclosed properties for resale or rental.

Join us on Tuesday, September 22 from 2 - 4:00 p.m. EDT to learn more about
how to put a proposal together in order work collaboratively with servicers, and how the National Community Stabilization Trust is helping communities create and implement acquisition strategies. Best practices for purchasing properties in a desired geography and leveraging dollars will be highlighted.

Part 1: Webinar – This two-part event begins at 2:00 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT) with a 1-hour webinar featuring Tom Lin from Bank of America and representatives from the National Community Stabilization Trust. Click here to register for the webinar.

Part 2: Interact with the speakers - Immediately following the webinar, from 3 - 4:00 p.m. EDT, the speakers will be on the Forum to answer your questions. All questions should be posted to this thread, and you are welcome to post at any time leading up to or during the event. Questions will be answered on a first-come, first-served basis until time runs out, so post early to be sure yours is addressed.

Thank you to all who participated in this webinar. You may view the presentations with audio on the National Housing Conference's "Open House" blog. Open the attachments below to view slides from the presentation by Tom Lin of Bank of America and slides from the National Community Stabilization Trust presentation.

The 'Making it Work' series is a collaboration between Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the National Housing Conference, the National Community Stabilization Trust and NeighborWorks America.

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Tom, you had mentioned that Bank of America is having success in Harris County, TX. Could you provide a little more detail on your efforts in Harris County, and what factors have contributed to a successful partnership?

Harris County came to Bank of America in March, 2009 as an NSP recipient. At first Harris County was focused on purchasing aged properties from the bank. They quickly realized that listed properties were being sold before they had the opportunity to inspect and request pricing from Bank of America. Through open communication with Harris County, we started offering properties to them through "First Look" before the properties are listed. Harris has a streamlined purchase process which flows well with the bank's NSP processes. They have also noted how responsive their one single point of contact at the bank is to their questions. Overall, we were able to work through the initial challenges with the primary focus to help stabilize communities within Harris County hard hit by foreclosures.
Could you further explain how both Bank of America and NCST can help entities providing downpayment and rehabilitation assistance for purchasers. I work for a nonprofit agency, NSP sub grantee, and we are NOT purchasing properties, but rather helping individual buyers. Any further explanation on how these products can help us would be beneficial.
NCST's Program is primarily an institutional transaction from a Financial Institution to a Municipality or non-profit. We do support our Public Entity Buyers by collaborating with them to find sources of qualified borrowers and special financing options to ensure that they are sucessful in liquidating acquired properties so that they can quickly recycle their funds.

Bank of America can offer property lists through its web portal to entities offering downpayment and rehab assitance with NSP funds. We have found that NSP recipients that take an active role in disseminating property lists to their direct buyers have less fallout due to properties not falling within the NSP target area. Bank of America can also work with the non-profit to provide loan product assistance via 203k.
Also, as a non-profit entity providing down payment assistance & rehabilitation assistance to individual buyers I have found that lenders are unwilling to work with our program. Is there any mortgage product available which lenders can use which will allow us to close on the house and then rehab? Lenders are unwilling to provide mortgages without the rehab. Or, are there any examples, using the downpayment assistance program, on how to handle the rehab and closing timeline? Thanks!
I don't have specific examples but I would advocate finding Community Relations or Community Lending contacts at your local Financial Institutions to explore options. Rehab lending has a long (and unfortunately bad) history and it is a challenge to find lenders who have comfort with this type of financing.

Bank of America is currently looking into expanding its rehab mortgage products to meet the needs of various communities. At this time, I am only aware of the availability of rehab financing through 203k.
I guess my question for both presenters is what special insights or observtions do they have about working in rural markets with NSP recipients (probably grantees through the state NSP programs). I got the impression from both the B of A and Trust presentations that they are working more in urban/suburban markets where the local governments and/or CDCs have capacity and expertise. Have either of them run across some rural local governments or nonprofits that are also doing good NSP acqusitions and dispositions?
It's a common issue and we highly advocate for an entity who can combine resources on behalf of these rural areas. Here, in the State of Texas, we have the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation who is attempting to coordinate property purchases on behalf of over 20 sub-recipients. The State of Colorado has also designated a non-profit with Acquisitions-Rehab expertise to coordinate on behalf of about 15 subrecipients. Coordination is key and we are happy to assist in dialogue to advance that cooperation.

Bank of America is currently working directly with a number of NSP recipients as well as sub-grantees of NSP funds in rural communities. The main challenge for these NSP recipients is the lack of inventory in the target neighborhoods. There are certainly challenges with the lack of capacity and expertise in these rural markets. It is highly recommended that neighboring localities work together to get up to speed quickly given the time constraints under NSP.
For additional information on acquisition strategies and best practices, state and local practitioners may wish to view the "Bring Foreclosed Properties Back Into Use" section on the HousingPolicy.org sister site, Foreclosure-Response.org. This section discusses the role of land banks in purchase and disposition of foreclosed properties, the benefits of bulk vs. case-by-case acquisition, and choices regarding the re-use of properties. The section is available at http://www.foreclosure-response.org/policy_guide/bring_back.html?ti....


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