In October 2014, NHS of New Haven celebrated its 35th Anniversary!
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Recognizing the growing need for comprehensive homebuyer education and counseling, NHS of New Haven opened its NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center (HOC) in 2001 to provide a full range of services to both new homebuyers and existing homeowners. This proved to be timely: after a decade of declining values, the housing market finally began to rebound, with homeowners and investors demonstrating a renewed confidence that the time was right to purchase real estate in New Haven.
During this time NHS continued its affordable housing development program, despite the fact that properties were becoming more expensive and there were fewer blighted, abandoned structures available for us to rehab. During this ten-year period we rehabilitated houses in West River, Beaver Hills, Newhallville, and the Hill, all of which had a significant impact on the blocks on which they were located. Our Fairlawn Manor development at the intersection of Whalley Avenue, Ella T. Grasso Boulevard, and Blake Street created 27 completely renovated units of housing for 13 homebuyers, and, at $6.8 million, marked the most expensive single development in NHS’ history. The impact of this project was significant due to its prominent location on Whalley Avenue, a major commercial thoroughfare into downtown New Haven from the west.
The housing boom that commenced in 2000 was fueled, in part, by over-aggressive investors and the advent of subprime lending. Mortgage fraud also helped to spawn super-inflated housing prices. While HOC clients received attractive mortgages for homes they were purchasing and below-market prices on houses they were purchasing from NHS, other homebuyers were not so fortunate and obtained mortgages on overpriced houses that they could not afford. This caused a steep drop in housing values.