Nailing it Down — “I didn’t know you did that!”


‘I didn’t know you did that!”

Because we hear this phrase from time to time, every once in a while we like to take a moment to give an overview of the services and information available under our roof here at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County.

When we started out in 1981, our goal was to create safe, affordable housing in two neighborhoods in Aberdeen. We were called Aberdeen Neighborhood Housing Service, then. Through various funding sources and community partnerships, we have been able to enhance that concept county-wide.

SERVICES AVAILABLE TO ALL

We consistently hear the misconception that our services are only for low- to moderate-income households. While many of our loans are held for the good folks in this population, anyone can access our housing counseling services, regardless of income and at no cost.

HOUSING COUNSELING

Our housing counseling department is the hub of our agency.

If you contact this office for information or assistance you are placed on a call-back list to speak with our HUD-certified counselor.

Your needs would be assessed, resulting in an appointment for actual housing counseling or perhaps for a construction-related consultation or referred to another community organization that could better fulfill your needs. We want to help you find solutions!

MORTGAGE DEFAULT

Mortgage default counseling is intended to be a foreclosure prevention program. Our counselor collects the information your lender requires in order to discuss your options and where possible, to negotiate your situation with your mortgage company (or other creditors as necessary) to try to avoid foreclosure and stabilize your housing situation.

HOME BUYING COUNSELING

Our pre-purchase counseling is used as a preparation for homeownership. Counselors help determine your readiness, what you can afford and what programs are available in the community that might best fit your needs.

Because the process of securing financing and closing a home loan can be overwhelming, we help make the process less intimidating. We not only discuss the home-purchase process, but also offer support and assistance from application to closing.

If negative credit issues are affecting your ability to purchase, our counselors work to resolve those issues, first.

We can also help you earn a “Homeownership Certification” for home-buying programs that require this certification.

LANDLORD/TENANT HELP

Our landlord/tenant counseling is designed to help establish successful rental situations. It is usually the lack of knowledge, information or communication that creates problems in this area. Our counselors can help both landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities. We also offer mediation if the need arises.

RENTAL UNITS

While there are some well kept rental properties in our market area, the vast majority of the units available to lesser income individuals and families have historically been substandard.

It was from this knowledge that we took on the challenge of setting much higher standards as a landlord and in our properties. Through our daily efforts, and with the help of our partnerships, we have been able to create quality, safe and affordable housing that creates strong competition for this area.

Of our 38 rental units, 16 are Section 8 subsidized units (available to low-income families with a portion of the rent paid by the Housing Authority of Grays Harbor). Two are emergency transitional units operated by Coastal Community Action Program. We also built two beautiful houses in Elma, home to eight mentally and physically challenged people who are cared for through Harbor Alternate Living Association (HALA).

Our remaining properties are our non-subsidized units, offered at or below fair-market rent, and located throughout both Aberdeen and Hoquiam. If you are looking for quality rental housing, be sure to check with us first for available homes.

LEARN MORE NEXT WEEK

We simply can’t include all of our programs and services in one column. But, we have so many helpful programs, that they simply won’t all fit.

So, next week we’ll talk about the rest of our programs and services. Make sure you read that one too!

We’ll be talking about our budget/money management counseling, our various loan programs and of course, our own area of expertise – the construction department. See you then.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing opportunities for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen.