Hempstead’s Community Housing Innovations (CHI) has been helping families prevent foreclosure for more than two decades. With the goal of helping residents achieve social and economic independence, CHI is a nonprofit that focuses on assisting those from all walks of life, including those in homeless and low-income households.
Founded in 1991, CHI serves Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, and Orange counties located in New York. According to Director of Homeownership Andrea Haughton, a nonprofit like this is necessary due to the rising cost of homes, the lack of available housing, and the increase in homeless working families. “We provide quality and affordable housing to all,” she says, and “a personalized service for any individual who is seeking housing from a homeless individual to a first-time homebuyer.”
In 2014, the nonprofit worked with several other groups such as the White Plains-Greenburgh NAACP and the Westchester Habitat for Humanity to create the Workforce Housing Coalition. Haughton explains that the organization advocates for “affordable workforce housing in high opportunity communities.” In the few years since its inception, the Workforce Housing Coalition has helped the MTA issue a policy of promoting more affordable housing; its contributions also aim to stop exclusionary zoning in Westchester County by supporting the HUD Consent Decree. Overall, CHI uses the Coalition to achieve its mission of promoting affordable housing for everyone.
CHI also offers one-on-one Foreclosure Prevention services. Based on a client’s need, the organization provides counseling and legal referrals, as well as helping with mitigation options such as loan forbearance, loan modification, partial claim, short sale, and bankruptcy. Haughton says that 300 clients are served annually, and last year alone 41 people received a permanent modification. Some were even granted a reduced interest rate or a lower principal balance on their home loans.
Additionally, the nonprofit helps first-time homebuyers apply for grants and provides homebuying education courses. Those in need of emergency housing can even go to CHI, which (according to the website) is “the largest provider of emergency housing on Long Island, and the second largest in Westchester.” Professional case managers are also available to help people get and keep permanent housing by connecting them with vocational education, job searches, health care, and more.
Community Housing Innovations is a vital addition to Hempstead’s community. Since its founding more than twenty years ago, it has helped thousands of people attain security and independence. Whether clients need help getting or keeping their homes, CHI is there with a helping hand.