Community Frameworks initiated the “Built in Bremerton” program to help eliminate foreclosed, vacant, and distressed single-family homes in Bremerton, Washington. Through this acquisition-rehab sweat equity program, they have completed the rehabilitation and sale of 21, affordable, energy-efficient homes since 2013. Eleven of the homes were financed by Community Housing Capital (CHC) with a revolving $1 million line of credit.
The scattered-site rehabilitation program has been very successful and widely supported by the community. “In one neighborhood, we completed four homes on the same street and people really noticed,” said Heather Wegan, Affiliate Services & Homeownership Manager for Community Frameworks. “The activities there have not only inspired additional private investment and pride in ownership from other residents, but it has also contributed to a sense of community in the area.
The Community Frameworks Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program, funded by annual grants from HUD, provides zero-interest, forgivable loans to other nonprofit organizations and public agencies sponsoring sweat equity homeownership programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Most of these self-help programs build the new home from the ground up with sweat equity invested by the low-income home buyer, though several operate acquisition-rehab programs similar to the Built in Bremerton program. The Community Frameworks program in Bremerton rehabs most of the house, leaving several tasks to be completed by the home buyer before the loan closes. The tasks performed by the buyer create a personal investment in the home and an opportunity to customize home finishes by choosing, for example, paint colors, knobs and pulls, and other finishes.
Community Frameworks, a nonprofit organization, and NeighborWorks® America Chartered member provides affordable housing development services throughout Washington state, and pre-purchase counseling services in all of Eastern Washington as well as Kitsap County. It also provides financing and technical assistance for other nonprofit organizations across four states. Community Frameworks staff is well-versed in the areas of property acquisition, rehabilitation, construction management, homebuyer counseling and deferred down payment assistance lending, and the development and administration of the full continuum of affordable housing programs and products, from shelter to homeownership.