Silicon Valley nonprofit buys, rehabs homes for first-time, moderate-income home buyers


NHSSV – Allen and Erin Johnson were more than a little discouraged in their attempts to buy a home. Time after time, they would make an offer on a property only to lose out to investors able to put down cash.

“We made a ton of offers,” Allen Johnson said. “With every single one we were outbid.”

But just weeks ago, the Johnsons moved into a two-bedroom, 2-bath condo in Hayward, and became Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley’s (NHSSV) first homeowners to benefit from the recently launched “First Look Program.”

Through First Look, NHSSV is able to buy bank-owned properties, remodel them and make them available to qualified first-time, moderate-income home buyers to level the playing field in the fast-paced housing market.

With the recent expansion to key areas in Alameda, Monterey and San Benito Counties the program is in the process of making seven single family homes and one condominium available to new home owners.

NHSSV promotes responsible home ownership

The non-profit Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley (NHSSV) works with support from the City of San Jose Department of Housing to improve the living environment of low and moderate income families.

NHSSV provides programs and services that promote and support responsible home ownership as a means of revitalizing neighborhoods and engendering community pride and economic stability among residents.

NHSSV is also a member of the NeighborWorks America Network, a national affiliation of 235 independent, community-based nonprofit organizations committed to community revitalization.

NHSSV is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved counseling agency, a NeighborWorks America HomeOwnership Center, and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

“Our First Look Program is absolutely critical for first time home buyers who would otherwise have no chance of competing with all cash investors,” said NHSSV Executive Director Matt Huerta.

The Johnsons worked with NHSSV’s Edgar Meneses who told them, “You’re here at the right time and this is the right place. It’s yours if you want it.”

The Johnsons jumped at the chance to make an offer on the two bedroom two bath, 1,000-square-foot condo, one of four units in a small complex.

Dream come true

Their timing was perfect.

The Mountain View couple was able to choose paint colors and stop by to see progress of the work.

With updated kitchen and bathrooms complete, the well-worn carpet was replaced by hard wood laminate, the interior doors and light switches were upgraded and all the deferred repairs were made ready for a smooth move-in experience for the first time homeowners.

The program for qualified buyers requires the use of 30-year fixed mortgages, homes occupied by the owner and buyers must complete a HUD-approved daylong home buyer workshop offered by NHSSV. The nonprofit organization also can provide down payment and closing costs assistance through the First Look Program.

The local program was launched in 2012 as a public-private partnership between NHSSV and Freedom Day Network, LLC.  The program was created to address the housing crisis, and stabilize local economies by providing communities with the opportunity to purchase homes.

“It seemed to good to be true,” said Johnson of the First Look Program. “Now we have the keys. It wasn’t too good to be true.”

Source: NHSSV. For more information, contact NHSSV at (408) 279-2600.

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