FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Community Stabilization Trust?
NCST began operations with a clear vision and purpose - to promote productive property reuse and neighborhood stability. Our founding sponsors joined forces to establish NCST as a community-focused nonprofit to coordinate the transfer of real estate owned (REO) properties from financial institutions to housing providers and state and local governments. There was and is a continuing need for neighborhood-based solutions to ward off property abandonment.
NCST was founded by six leading community development nonprofit organizations - Enterprise Community Partners, the Housing Partnership Network (HPN), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), National Council of La Raza, National Urban League, and NeighborWorks America.
What services does NCST provide to state and local programs seeking to stabilize distressed communities?
NCST offers state and local governments and local housing providers streamlined access to the REO inventories of financial institutions. NCST provides two types of services to assist housing providers with the acquisition and reuse of foreclosed and abandoned property:

Assistance with Acquiring Properties: NCST helps local housing providers ("buyers") to acquire foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial institutions ("sellers") in the following ways:

•Saving Time and Effort – NCST acts as a single point of contact with the financial institutions that hold and manage the properties, which saves buyers time and effort as they avoid negotiating with multiple entities to purchase REO properties.

•Simplifying the Process - NCST provides a standardized process for identifying, inspecting and evaluating property offers from sellers.

Offering Exclusive Access and Pricing - NCST gives buyers the opportunity to access new REO on a First Look basis, before financial institutions offer properties to the broader market.

Providing Financing. NCST also supports local financing needs for the purchase and rehabilitation of foreclosed and abandoned property through the REO Capital Fund. NCST is able to provide flexible financing for short- and intermediate-term needs. The REO Capital Fund financing provides important advantages for participating jurisdictions:

Leverage More Capital - By offering access to flexible sources of funds, localities can increase the impact of their public funding and increase the scale of neighborhood stabilization activities.

Access to Flexible Financing - REO Capital Fund financing can make available to localities fast cash for quicker acquisition transactions of REO properties, facilitate acquisition and renovation, and increase financing available for homeownership and rental projects.

Product types include bridge financing for government receivables or acquisition and rehabilitation financing.
 
What services does NCST provide to financial institutions seeking to help stabilize distressed communities?
NCST works with financial institutions to facilitate the transfer of foreclosed property in a seamless, cost-effective manner to local housing providers with the intent to stabilize their communities and provide new affordable housing opportunities. The Stabilization Trust can also help identify responsible approaches to providing mortgage capital for new mortgage-ready buyers and investors.
Who are participating sellers?
Many of the leading financial institutions in America are participating with the Stabilization Trust, supporting the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned properties. Additional financial institutions are added continually.
Who are eligible buyers?
The Stabilization Trust partners with local housing providers (“Community Buyers”) that serve low- to moderate-income communities and neighborhoods affected by high levels of foreclosure and abandonment. Eligible local housing providers should have a commitment to revitalizing communities through property acquisition and rehabilitation and providing opportunities for quality affordable homeownership or rental housing.  
To be eligible to participate in the NCST Property Acquisition program, local housing providers must meet guidelines that pertain to organization type and permissible sources of funds.  Once qualified, Community Buyers must adhere to participation standards and requirements for the NCST Property Acquisition Programs that define allowable geographies in which properties may be acquired and requirements for property selection, holding, and end disposition. Please contact NCST for more information.
What criteria should qualified buyers meet?
NCST wants to ensure the success of organizations participating in its programs and of local efforts to restore neighborhood vitality. In addition to local housing providers meeting buyer eligibility requirements, a coordinated local neighborhood stabilization effort should have demonstrable capability in five different areas:

1. Collaboration. The local community stabilization effort involves an established partnership with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other local stakeholders that defines the roles and accountability of each participant.

2. Concentration. The local community stabilization effort should focus on one or more defined geographic areas to increase the likelihood that a significant, visible impact can be achieved.

3. Comprehensiveness. Bricks and mortar activities such as the acquisition and rehabilitation of properties purchased through the Stabilization Trust should be complemented by a broader strategy that leverages related social investments and improvements to infrastructure, incorporates a marketing campaign, and otherwise integrates tangible and intangible community efforts.

4. Capacity. The local community stabilization effort should include organizations with the ability to assess, acquire, manage, rehab and convey properties at scale.

5. Capital. The program should have sufficient resources from the HUD NSP funds and other public and private resources to conduct a successful stabilization program.
 
How does the Stabilization Trust Property Acquisition Program work?
The Stabilization Trust offers two types of acquisition options through its REO Property Acquisition Program that are designed to help buyers acquire significant numbers of foreclosed and vacant properties from sellers:

First Look Program. The First Look program gives buyers the opportunity to inspect and acquire foreclosed and vacant properties before they are listed for sale through traditional means. The First Look program results in an adjusted purchase price that reflects savings passed on to the buyers from avoided expenses associated with prolonged holding periods.

Targeted Aged/Listed Purchase Program: The Targeted Aged/Listed Purchase program gives buyers the opportunity to purchase properties that have been already been marketed by sellers through the standard streamlined Stabilization Trust acquisition process. Buyers can also purchase portfolios of distressed property in bulk, usually up to dozens of properties in a single transaction. These properties comprise aged inventory from the sellers, and are offered at pricing similar to the First Look program.
 
How are property closings executed?
NCST does not acquire title to property. NCST facilitates the transfer of properties by providing standardized documentation and transaction procedures.
How many local entities can participate within a jurisdiction?
A state, large city, or multi-county program may have more than one entity participating as a buyer with NCST, but the geographic boundaries of the areas where the different buyer entities operate typically should not overlap within the same jurisdiction.
If a buyer is participating with the Stabilization Trust, does this limit their ability to acquire properties from other sources?
No. Participation with NCST does not prevent a buyer from purchasing properties from brokers, directly from financial institutions, or from other sources.
 
How many properties must a buyer purchase to participate with NCST?
Participating buyers are not held to a minimum purchase requirement for acquisitions through NCST. However, the objective of NCST is to assist the local programs in addressing the factors contributing to market distress. Local programs are encouraged to acquire a sufficient volume of properties annually in order to achieve the benefits from geographically concentrating acquisition activity. 
 
How do I get started?
If you are the grantee or an authorized participant in a local community stabilization program, please contact NCST using our online form.