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WILMINGTON–Rebuilding Our Community One Home At A Time

March 26, 2019

“…The fact that you’re here meeting the minimal requirements is a great start, and means that together we can make home ownership happen for you!”

By: Briana Harris | @brikeey

What makes a great community, you may ask? According to The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA,”) it’s a neighborhood’s investment in it’s working people.

NACA is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA prides itself on economic justice through homeownership and practices aggressive advocacy against the bullying-type actions often associated with corporate predatory lenders. Unlike its counterparts, NACA’s unique approach offers its customers

  • No down payment,
  • No closing costs,
  • No fees,
  • No requirement for perfect credit,
  • And at a below-market interest rate.

Now, after years of making the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands around the nation, NACA has joined forces with Wilmington’s City Council, to change the narrative of the city’s locals and act as a catalyst for Wilmington’s drive toward sustainable homeownership.

To help community members take their first step toward success, the city hosted a homebuyer event this past Saturday where institutions and organizations such as Stand By Me, Wilmington’s Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, and M&T Bank came to educate the public in hopes of removing any fear, shame, or ignorance that comes along with the territory of such a large purchase.  

City Council President Hanifa Shabazz gives remarks. By: Briana Harris

Ray Saccomandi of Wilmington’s Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, brought forth a sense for hopefulness to this issue as he explained how he plans to make a difference as the bank’s Operations Director. We are very serious about home ownership. I have 177 parcels of land with numbers that’ll increase substantially–so all of these vacant and dilapidated homes need someone to live in them.” Saccomandi went on to explain the numbers; “there are at least 30-40 thousand dollars of untapped equity in these homes. You’re going to need at least 60 thousand dollars to put into rebuilding them, but with the help from programs like ours, the value of the property can double in equity; that’s wealth!”

Despite his positive approach, some still felt a bit apprehensive about the buying process as the wealth disparity in the city of Wilmington seemed to have created a noticeable class gap. Defined as the distribution of wealth amongst various members in a society…wealth disparity differs from income, as it determines one’s wealth based on assets, rather than monetary earnings. Unfortunately much of Wilmington’s inner-city community has seen the effects of poverty and crime, and in turn, the residents haven’t had the opportunity or the gumption to strive toward obtaining such economic privilege.

An attendee reads over provided materials at the event. By: Briana Harris

“A true education in finance has yet to be incorporated into school curriculums, so for most, the most common thing that holds people back from qualifying for a home loan is their lack of credit stability, which stems from their lack of financial literacy,” said Guy Stafford, the Administrative Vice President and Mid-Atlantic community lending manager for M&T Bank. Guy followed up with a quick session, explaining the importance of credit, and left the attendees with tips on how to build and maintain a functioning relationship with lenders.

Despite any negative connotation, and sometimes even disqualifying effects of late and or missed payments to loan lenders; Wilmington’s City Council President Hanifa Shabazz reassured her residents that all was not lost. “From the perspective of representing you from a City Council position, I want you all to know that we understand your financial situations. We’ve taken all of your concerns into consideration, and have brought in partners and implemented programs, to be able to help you surpass all of that. The fact that you’re here meeting the minimal requirements is a great start, and means that together we can make home ownership happen for you!”

For more information on how you can pour back into your community via homeownership visit Wilmington’s Department of Real Estate and Housing