Congressman Gregory Meeks & Rev. Floyd Flake Sponsor Buses for Queens Residents
by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
NACA (The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America) has been in the forefront of saving homes from foreclosure since the inception of this horrific economic downturn reared its ugly head in 2007.
However, and more importantly, they have been in the business of helping first time homebuyers buy homes for nearly 25 years. And if there was ever a good time to buy a home in New York it’s NOW! While the prices are down, and the interest rates are still low. They provide the best mortgage ever – no down payment, no closing costs and a mortgage 1% below prime. And it’s not based on your credit rating!
Homeowners in Brooklyn and Queens (as well as the rest of the planet) have been losing their homes at an alarming rate – with Queens, according to Congressman Meeks, having the highest percentage of foreclosures of the five boroughs. And if they have the highest, Brooklyn would be the second highest.
NACA, which is a national organization, has offices in cities across the United States, including Connecticut, Philadelphia, DC, and Newark, New Jersey. And as I’ve been stating consistently, there is no NACA office in New York City! New York State Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, also an advocate for NACA, had tried to provide assistance in obtaining space in a nearby church that had ample space; but, because of federal guidelines, not the requisite privacy required for processing highly sensitive financial documents.
Since then the quest has been quietly on to locate a place where New Yorkers could come and get service on an ongoing basis, instead of having to travel to Newark; or to wait for local organizations to organize NACA workshops.
Quite frankly, my preference has been for it to be located in Brooklyn, since it’s been the epicenter of foreclosures, and the onslaught of gentrification has reared its ugly head in so many communities; like a salacious viper waiting to come in and swoop up the homes that have tax liens, lis pendens, or active foreclosures.
Other local organizations have tried to be of assistance to residents, but I can tell you from personal experience, after having worked as a home owner and foreclosure prevention counselor in Brooklyn, and after having been executive director of a locally based community organization, they are neither as equipped or effective as NACA is in helping families save their homes. Nor do they have the protocols to make sure they purchase homes that are truly affordable and in good quality. However, rather than aligning with NACA to provide the service their constituents require to save their homes, some have considered it a rivalry of sorts, thereby holding away the kinds of services that would have long ago mitigated many of these problems.
Nor do they hold the line in making sure that realtors don’t push you into purchasing a home out of your budget range, just to expand their commission. The sales person has to be NACA approved so that you can be in synch in locating and purchasing a decent, affordable home.
Twenty years of working with families through redlining, predatory lending, block busting, and other measures, has honed NACA’s skills to the extent that banks quake when they hear their name. They know that they are going to have to deal with an organization that is prepared to take it to the streets if you put their people in the streets. Unfortunately, none of our locally based organizations are prepared to go that far.
The great news is that Congressman Gregory Meeks (D. 6th Dist. Queens, NY) has been paying attention, and has now stepped up to the forefront in ensuring that his constituents have every means available to participate in, and take advantage of, the FREE services NACA provides. They are sponsoring buses to Javits Center as well as follow up services in the community. Can a NACA office not be far behind? I truly hope so! After 5 years of trying to get one established in Brooklyn, if one opens up in Queens because they were more responsive, so be it! At least there will be a facility in New York City where New Yorkers can go to without having to go out of state.
In interviewing Congressman Meeks at a press conference on the steps of City Hall, it was evident that he was both enthusiastic and supportive of NACA, and ready to do whatever it takes to help his constituents save their homes. There was no tepid wait and see what’s politically expedient, who is in support, or who does or does not like NACA response on his part. No! It was “We need NACA! My people are losing their homes at an alarming rate! We will be there from Queens to do whatever is necessary to help them!”
So Kudos to Congressman Gregory Meeks, Rev. Floyd Flake, and to any and all the people, regardless of where they are, who have stepped up to make NACA happen here in New York City. You are to be commended. There is an old saying: “If something works, that’s what you use!” And NACA WORKS! Big Time!
NACA will be at the Jacob Javits Center on 34th Street and 11th Avenue from Today, THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2012 through MONDAY, APRIL 30th 2012, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. For those of you who are facing foreclosure, bring your paperwork with you. There will be 80+ banks there to give you instant decisions. You will have face time with them. No more telephone tag, no more waiting until you get cobwebs on your hands from being on hold; they will be there to work with you.
More importantly, for those of you who have a mortgage with Chase Bank, Chase will be there (thanks to a little lawsuit brought against them by NACA for non-compliance). So pull out your paperwork, and get yourself there.
Those of you who are still sitting on the fence, vacillating, paralyzed by fear, or false pride, or self pity, get up off it and make something good happen for you. You are not alone unless you chose to be. Those of you who are trying to be politically correct and loyal to some locally based organization, it helps to have more than one egg in your basket. Take your paperwork and see if there is something that has been overlooked, or could be done differently to save your home.
Those of you who are sitting here paying rent the size of a mortgage, think about the fact that that money can be used to own your own home. If you can pay $900 to $1500 a month for rent, you can own a home or a condo of your own. Stop throwing your money down the pockets of landlords, who for the most part are using you to bankroll their next purchases and find out how you can own your own home.
NACA is HUD approved. That doesn’t mean much to me, but it means something to the Federal Government, and to President Obama. What’s more significant to me is this: while HUD was under President Bush, many of the rules changed, and affordability went out the window. During that time, NACA was one the only organization out there helping homebuyers purchase homes and providing them with the free down payment, free closing costs and mortgage 1% below prime. They’ve been doing it consistently for almost 25 years. They have expanded nationally because there was no other program that both helped prevent foreclosure and helped purchase affordable homes, effectively.
If you need additional verification, go on line and check out www.naca.com for yourself. And then get up, get dressed, get to the Javits, and get help – whether you’re buying, or you’re saving. Like I said, “If something works, that’s what you use!”
Stay Blessed & ECLECTICALLY BLACK
bullet ColumnistGloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com
Gloria Dulan-Wilson is available for speaking engagements: Black History, African History, Foreclosure Prevention, Home Ownership, Education, etc., Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org