Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

 

How long has NHS been in business?
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven was incorporated in October 1979, and commenced operations in March 1980. Over the past 36+ years we have had offices on State Street and Edwards Street in the East Rock neighborhood, and we have been at our present home on Sherman Avenue since August 1986.

 

Is NHS of New Haven a City agency?
No. NHS of New Haven is a private, nonprofit organization that operates in the greater New Haven area. We collaborate with New Haven’s Livable City Initiative on many projects, but we are completely independent from the City government.

 

Is there a charge for using the services that you describe on your website?
No. The services provided by NHS of New Haven are offered without charge (with a few exceptions).

 

If you don’t charge for your services, how do you stay in business?
NHS of New Haven relies on financial support from individual donors, foundations, banks, insurance companies, other businesses, and federal funding to provide the services we offer to the community.

 

Where does the funding come from to pay for the construction costs on the houses you’re rehabbing?
NHS spends far more to acquire and renovate each of our houses than what we sell them for. To make these homes affordable we rely on subsidies from a variety of sources, mostly from the State of Connecticut and federal lead hazard abatement funding.

 

When can a visitor see the Home Improvement and Energy Conservation Lab and its green features?
The Lab can be seen during regularly scheduled classes and NHS events and by appointment with the Lab Manager. Please contact Kathy Fay for more information.

 

Does NHS operate outside of the City of New Haven?
Yes. NHS of New Haven provides its homebuyer education and counseling (including loss mitigation/foreclosure prevention) throughout Connecticut. The houses we develop, though, are typically located in clusters within particular neighborhoods in New Haven and in selected sections of Hamden and West Haven. The rehabilitation loans we offer are only available for properties located in New Haven.

 

Does NHS engage in lobbying the government to get what it wants?
Absolutely not. NHS does not engage in any lobbying activities.

 

Is NHS affiliated with any political party?
Absolutely not. NHS of New Haven remains strictly non-political at all times.

 

What is the percentage of your funding that goes to administering your program?
7.5% of revenue is spent on administrative costs; less than 5% is spent on fundraising. All the rest of the organization’s revenues go directly into the delivery of program services.



HomeOwnership Center and Design & Construction Department

 

If I have already owned a home, can I still go through the homeownership process with NHS?
Yes. Although there are some mortgage products that are only available to first-time homebuyers, we can assist anyone with the purchase of a home. Please call our HomeOwnership Center for details.

 

Who can buy a house that NHS has rehabilitated for sale?
The subsidies that are required to undertake the complete rehab of each and every one of our houses have income restrictions. Because of this, we must sell our houses to individuals and families whose incomes do not exceed 80 percent of the Area Median Income. We can, however, help with the rehabilitation of houses being purchased by our clients that do not require subsidies.

 

Where are the houses that NHS rehabs and sells located?
All over New Haven. In recent years we have focused our rehabilitation work in clusters to maximize our impact in the neighborhoods we are working to revitalize. We find that not only does this demonstrate our organization’s commitment to the long-term health of these neighborhoods, but it also helps to preserve the investments of our new homeowners. At the present time, our primary focus is in Newhallville and on Stevens Street and Frank Street in the Hill. Other houses are also available in scattered-site locations.

 

I need financial assistance to repair something in my house. Can NHS help?
If you own a home in New Haven that needs work, NHS may be able to help with a low-interest loan. Please call us for details.

 

Who can use the mortgage counseling services of the HomeOwnership Center?
These services are available to anyone and everyone who is in need of mortgage counseling. Whether a person needs counseling for choosing the best mortgage, or help with keeping an existing mortgage current, Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven is here to help!

 

How do you hire people to work on the NHS houses?
NHS of New Haven hires qualified, insured general contractors to work on each of the houses we rehabilitate. When selecting contractors, we look carefully at examples of past work as well as the price that is quoted for doing the work.



Community Building and Organizing

 

What is community engagement?
Community engagement focuses on resident leaders working actively and collectively to improve lives and strengthen communities. Successful community engagement is the positive, constructive convergence of strong community building efforts and active community organizing with a relentless commitment to a strong, stable, and well-organized community.

 

I would like a lamp post in my front yard like the ones I have seen in front of some of NHS’ properties. Whom should I contact?
For lamp posts or anything else related to community building, call or email our Director of Community Building & Organizing, Stephen Cremin-Endes.

 

Can our neighborhood group use your wonderful Home Improvement and Energy Conservation Laboratory for one of our community meetings?
NHS frequently works alongside neighborhood groups and associations, especially when there is a focus on community organizing and resident engagement. Please contact Stephen Cremin-Endes or Kathy Fay to see if your group would be eligible to use our space.



Volunteering

 

Can an individual sign up to volunteer?
Yes, our office is almost always able to connect you with resident associations or organizations, or other groups of volunteers for ongoing projects in our targeted area. Please call or email our Director of Community Building & Organizing, Stephen Cremin-Endes, at (203) 562.0598 ext 222.

 

How do I sign up my group for a volunteer event?
The same way you would proceed with individual volunteering: simply call or email our Director of Community Building & Organizing, Stephen Cremin-Endes, at (203) 562-0598 ext 222.

 

I have a community/faith-based group that wants to volunteer. Are there projects with NHS that can handle small and large numbers?
NHS of New Haven is one of the leading sponsors of volunteer projects in the greater New Haven area. Our volunteer efforts can range in size from two people to 50. The best way to get an answer to your question, however, is for you to contact our Director of Community Building & Organizing, Stephen Cremin-Endes. In all likelihood Stephen will be able to slake your thirst for volunteering!