On May 17, 2007, Neighborhood Housing Services of Toledo, Inc. (NHS) did celebrate its 30th year of business as a neighborhood-based community development corporation.
At its beginning NHS focused on housing rehabilitation in the Old West End and South Toledo neighborhoods. Neighborhood residents got access to loan products from NHS for home improvement at a time when financing was unavailable because of low property values. In its first year, NHS loaned $110,000. This past year NHS loaned over $1.6 million for the fourth consecutive year. The program that was originally focused in 2 neighborhoods expanded to a third in 1993 and by 1998 went city-wide. To date more than 870 borrowers have been served, at a total investment of over $18 million. NHS is both a Community Development Financial Institution and a licensed mortgage broker (Ohio License # MB.803440.000).
NHS manages a diverse portfolio of neighborhood development initiatives.
The Home Weatherization Assistance Program provides energy efficiency improvements for homes occupied by lower income families. In 1986 NHS linked this federally-funded program to the privately sponsored WarmChoice Program, courtesy of Columbia Gas to deliver a broad array of housing improvements aimed at saving energy. Resources from Toledo Edison were added in 1997. Today a lower income family can qualify for a comprehensive response to their home energy efficiency needs at no cost to them. To date NHS has installed over $23.7 million in materials and equipment for 15,000+ customers in Toledo and Lucas County.
A companion initiative to the lending and weatherization activities is housing development. NHS is involved in 2 types: housing offered for sale and rental housing. Affordable homes are built by NHS to in-fill a neighborhood that has been negatively impacted by neglect. At present NHS has adopted a strategy that uses affordable housing in tandem with market-rate housing. The current example of this strategy being executed by NHS can be seen in East Toledo at the intersection of Navarre and Miami. The Starboard Side Condominium project represents high-end housing that is situated along the Maumee River. In the neighborhood immediately adjacent to the east NHS has built and sold 12 homes to lower income families with another 4 available for sale. Both types of housing consumers benefit from this blend. To date, these housing developments represent a $5.7 million investment in census tract 51.
Finally, affordable rental housing is the newest addition to the NHS program. NHS and its partners have been awarded low income housing tax credits sufficient to support the development of 53 new single family houses. Construction of the last 25 units was completed in October 2008. When everything is complete, the entire rental development will be worth approximately $11.1 million.