Friday, September 30, 2011

2011-09-30 "Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services shuttered after 31 years of providing services; Agency offered homebuyer counseling and financial assistance" by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald"
A 31-year-old Vallejo nonprofit housing assistance agency will close its doors permanently today.
The Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services has served as a "symbiotic" partner agency to the Vallejo Housing Authority since low-incoming housing assistance needs outgrew city hall, Vallejo Housing and Community Development Manager Melinda Nestlerode said Thursday.
"They have been a very crucial partner to the city of Vallejo," Nestlerode said after the organization's closure was announced publicly. "It is with great sadness that we see this happening."
The Housing Authority determines the city's affordable housing needs, and distributes federal funding to pay entities like Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services to deliver the services, Nestlerode said.
The organization has offered a series of public services, including homebuyer and mortgage counseling, foreclosed home rehabilitation and financial assistance for home purchases and repair.
Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services' board of directors voted Sept. 21 to shutter the agency, and notified the city on Sept. 22, Nestlerode said.
The city has already begun taking steps to transfer these duties to other agencies, including Solano Napa Habitat for Humanity and the Community Housing Development Corporation of Richmond, Nestlerode said.
"We have been looking at alternate options based on our knowledge of VNHS' financial situation," Nestlerode said. "We were hoping that it would not happen, but it's not a surprise."
Nestlerode said Vallejo is the only entity providing the organization with funding, but it was not enough to pay for all of its operations.
Last summer, the Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services and its national affiliate parted ways, which temporarily severed its Housing and Urban Development certification and disqualified it from receiving federal low-income housing funds.
Then, in September 2010, the organization found a new national affiliate and signed new service contracts with the city's Housing and Community Development division.
The pending closure was announced in a press release Thursday by Vallejo Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director Carol Hardy.
Hardy was unavailable for comment following the release of her statement. Members of the organization's board of directors were also not immediately available.

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