"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Monday, December 12, 2016


Location: Nationwide

Website: stablecommunities.org/ncst

The U.S. housing market remains extremely uneven. While some areas have rebounded significantly from the recession and have a robust housing market, others – especially communities of color, lower-income areas, and cities where economic activity remains depressed – continue to grapple with high rates of vacant, abandoned and distressed properties that weaken nearby home values, create health and safety risks, lower local tax revenues, and thwart neighborhood revitalization efforts.

The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) is a non-profit organization that works to restore vacant and abandoned properties to productive use and protect neighborhoods from blight. Our programs facilitate the rehabilitation of vacant but structurally sound homes, enable safe, targeted demolition when necessary, and support creative and productive re-use of vacant land.

Established in 2008 by the sponsors listed to the left, NCST offers a unique blend of policy expertise and on-the-ground experience working with local partners to eliminate the blight caused by vacant and foreclosed properties and severely delinquent mortgages in distressed communities.

NCST supports neighborhoods and fights blight through these key activities:

Provide community-based buyers an opportunity to acquire vacant, abandoned and distressed properties as part of a neighborhood revitalization strategy. Our First Look REO acquisition program gives local affordable housing and community development organizations the opportunity to obtain properties in their market areas before they are marketed more broadly. In many cases, REO properties can be acquired at discounts that help make it financially feasible for nonprofit buyers to rehabilitate these properties for new occupants.

Partner with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative.

This partnership offers Fannie and Freddie REO properties to local affordable housing and community development organizations through a special First Look program in 18 strategic markets around the country, mostly east of the Mississippi river.

In collaboration with the Housing Partnership Network (HPN), NCST manages a portfolio of highly distressed mortgages to resolve delinquencies, assist homeowners, and prepare vacant properties for productive disposition. Financial institutions donate these mortgages to NCST and HPN to assist with asset resolution.

Along with many national and local partners, including our six sponsors, we research solutions and advocate for policies to help communities address blight and high rates of vacant, abandoned, and distressed properties.

Offer financing to support local housing work.

Our REO Capital Fund aggregates capital from philanthropic and social investment sources to provide flexible financing for local organizations to acquire and rehabilitate single family homes.

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