2004 News
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Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Grants
July 13, 2004

Home HeadQuarters, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building better neighborhoods through homeownership, home lending, education and renovation, is now offering grants of up to $2,500 for down payment and closing costs to qualified first-time homebuyers who want to purchase a home in East Syracuse, Mattydale, Solvay or Nedrow. This is a pilot program with limited availability.

Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance is in the form of a grant for participants who meet basic eligibility requirements including:

  • Completion of Home HeadQuarters Certified Homebuyers Education Course;
  • An accepted purchase offer for a home within the eligible areas of East Syracuse, Mattydale, Solvay or Nedrow;
  • $99,900 maximum home purchase price (one- or two-family);
  • Household income based on family size must fall under 80% of HUD Median Income Guidelines;
  • Homebuyer must obtain a home inspection prior to closing and provide proof at closing;
  • Must live in home for a minimum of five years.

Home HeadQuarters has offered a successful City-wide Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program since 1996 providing close to $2.5 million dollars to more than 800 people purchasing homes in Syracuse.

For more information, people are welcome to call Home HeadQuarters at (315) 474-1939, or visit the office located at 124 E. Jefferson Street (next door to HUD).

Dionne Miller appointed Home HeadQuarters Homeownership Center Manager
July 5, 2004

Syracuse, NY - Home HeadQuarters, Inc., recently announced that Dionne Miller has been promoted to the position of Homeownership Center Manager. In this position, Ms. Miller is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Home HeadQuarters' Homeownership Center, a unique one-stop-shop that offers Syracuse residents the opportunity to fulfill all of their homeownership and housing needs including homebuyer education courses, down payment and closing cost assistance, financial and credit counseling and foreclosure prevention. Ms. Miller will also resume the popular Syracuse Landlord Training Program, a full-day seminar for area landlords and potential investors providing information on Fair Housing Laws, rental agreements and leases, Section 8, crime prevention and more. Prior to this position, Ms. Miller was the Manager of the Homeownership Department at Jubilee Homes.

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Paul Driscoll Joins Home HeadQuarters, Inc.
July 5, 2004

Syracuse, NY - Home HeadQuarters, Inc., recently announced that Paul Driscoll joined the organization as Planning and Real Estate Development Manager. Mr. Driscoll is responsible for overseeing Home HeadQuarters' property inventory as well as various projects for the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative, a public, private, non-profit collaboration created by Congressman Walsh to revitalize Syracuse neighborhoods. Prior to this position, Mr. Driscoll was a planner with the Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency for four years.

Home HeadQuarters is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing and stabilizing neighborhoods in Syracuse and Onondaga County. Established in 1996, Home HeadQuarters offers "one-stop shopping" at its HomeOwnership Center for first-time homebuyers and homeowners who are in need of assistance. Home HeadQuarters provides a variety of services to individuals and families including: certified Homebuyer Education Courses, homeownership and credit counseling, down payment and closing cost assistance, the Home Value Protection Program, the Foreclosure Prevention Program, the Home Improvement Loan Program, Syracuse Weed and Seed Community Partnership, the Landlord Training Program and the Opportunity Headquarters Construction Apprentice Program.

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National NeighborWorks Week
June 5, 2004

Home HeadQuarters, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building better neighborhoods through homeownership, home lending, education and renovation, is celebrating National NeighborWorks Week, June 5th-June 12th, with a series of events and activities open to the public. NeighborWorks Week, now in its 21st year, is a celebration of the accomplishments of the more than 225 not-for-profit housing organizations located throughout the nation that make up the NeighborWorks network. Home HeadQuarters is one of the top 25 National homeownership producers in the NeighborWorks Network. During NeighborWorks Week, residents, business people, government officials and other volunteers work side by side to complete projects or take part in activities that help improve their communities. In 2003, the NeighborWorks Network generated more than $1.9 billion in total direct investment and helped more than 80,000 low- to moderate-income families purchase, improve and maintain their homes.

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Her Home Is Her Castle
April 18, 2004

Published on April 18, 2004, Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)

Sheila Jones has reason to be proud. After living in apartment complexes her whole life, the 41-year-old single mother purchased her first home through Home Headquarters Inc.'s First Time Home Buyer program. "This is my castle," said Jones, who hasn't stopped working on her new house since the day she moved in, May 2, 2003. The green 1920s-era house with curved detail along the roof line is at 107 W. Borden Ave., near the corner of South Salina Street. For complete article see Syracuse.com

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Local Non-Profit Home HeadQuarters, Inc., Announces New Positions
April 19, 2004

Syracuse, NY - Home HeadQuarters, Inc., recently announced that Angelica Weathersby will manage the organization's new city-wide Foreclosure Prevention Program. Ms. Weathersby is responsible for debt and budget counseling, as well as working with financial institutions and attorneys to resolve lending issues. Prior to running the Foreclosure Prevention Program, Ms. Weathersby was a Housing Counselor and Loan Specialist.

Sheena Solomon has been promoted to the position of Office Services Coordinator. In this position, Ms. Solomon monitors customer service and office operations. Ms. Solomon previously worked as a Case Manager and Administrative Assistant.

Virginia Smith has also been promoted to the position of Lending Manager and is responsible for monitoring the oversight of all loan pools as well as overseeing the Home Equity Protection Program. Ms. Smith worked previously at Home HeadQuarters as the Equity Protection Coordinator.

Dionne Miller joins Home HeadQuarters as a Housing Counselor and Loan Specialist. In this position, Ms. Miller teaches the Home HeadQuarters Homebuyer Education course and counsels clients on budgeting and credit repair. Ms. Miller worked previously as a Housing Coordinator at Jubilee Homes.

Home HeadQuarters is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing and stabilizing neighborhoods in Syracuse and Onondaga County. Established in 1996, Home HeadQuarters offers "one-stop shopping" at its HomeOwnership Center for first-time homebuyers and homeowners who are in need of assistance. Home HeadQuarters provides a variety of services to individuals and families including: certified Homebuyer Education Courses, homeownership and credit counseling, down payment and closing cost assistance, the Home Equity Protection Program, the Home Improvement Loan Program, Syracuse Weed and Seed Community Partnership, the Landlord Training Program and the Opportunity Headquarters Construction Apprentice Program.

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Syracuse Financial Institutions Form Unique Partnership to Support Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative Program
April 19, 2004

In an unprecedented alliance, ten Syracuse area banks and credit unions have teamed up to provide more than $2.5 million in home improvement loan financing to the Syracuse community through the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative (SNI) and local housing non-profit Home HeadQuarters, Inc. The participating institutions, HSBC, BSB Bank & Trust, Fleet Bank, Geddes Federal Savings & Loan, Empire Federal Credit Union, Alliance Bank, Beacon Federal, Power Federal Credit Union, Solvay Bank and Community Bank System, Inc., represent the majority of the primary lenders in the Syracuse area market. This SNI Home Improvement loan pool and operating support from the banks and credit unions to Home HeadQuarters was formally announced, Monday, April 19th.

"This partnership is really the first of its kind in the history of this community," said City of Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll. "To see private sector businesses like banks and credit unions joining together with local non-profit organizations to help secure affordable financing for home improvement in Syracuse is a great accomplishment for our community and its residents."

The low interest home improvement loans is available to city residents who want to make repairs to their homes, but may fall just below bank underwriting standards or have not yet built enough equity in their homes to qualify for home equity loans.

According to Kerry Quaglia, Home HeadQuarters Executive Director, this loan product offers a positive alternative to predatory and sub-prime lending. "This program targets recent homebuyers and those who have been unable to secure traditional bank financing."

Financing for the SNI Home Improvement Loan Program is provided by the banks and credit unions through a capitalized loan pool paid out over three years to Home HeadQuarters who will administer the loans for the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative. The loan funding will then be paid back to the financial institutions incrementally over a ten-year period.

"The success of the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative's mini-grant program demonstrates that there is a growing interest by existing homeowners to further their investment in their city properties," said Rep. Jim Walsh. "This effort will make low interest financing available to those with limited funds or equity, enabling them to make desired home improvements both inside and out. We warmly welcome these ten financial institutions to the growing list of full SNI partners."

The need for home repair in Syracuse is great since over half of the homes in the City of Syracuse were constructed prior to 1939 and more than 25 percent of all homes in the city are considered to be substandard structurally, according to Kerry Quaglia. "It is vital to not only the overall well-being of this city to offer residents the needed dollars to repair and renovate their homes, but also to this city's ability to attract and maintain its core population."

"The Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative and Home HeadQuarters are providing us with the necessary means to make this partnership a reality," said Allen Naples, Regional President, HSBC. "By pooling these resources and allowing the non-profit experts in the housing arena to administer the funding, the number of people benefiting and the overall impact to the community will be so much greater than if we all worked individually."

The Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative, a public, private, non-profit collaboration created to help encourage new housing and investment opportunities in the city began through the efforts of Congressman James Walsh. Since SNI's inception, Congressman Walsh has secured more than $40 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding for the effort. Those funds have leveraged more than $35 million in additional private sector monies and garnered $7 million in private pledges for other SNI-related activities including targeted neighborhood curb-appeal grants, the Syracuse Home Equity Protection Plan, other neighborhood and park improvements, new home construction, community center improvements and neighborhood group capacity building. The Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative is currently chaired by Bill Byrne, CEO and President of Byrne Dairy.

Home HeadQuarters is the largest housing and neighborhood revitalization organization in Central New York. Since 1996, Home HeadQuarters has assisted more than 1,400 Syracuse residents with major home repair totaling $17.2 million and provided counseling and/or financial assistance to more than 4000 prospective homebuyers helping to generate more than $56.4 million in home purchase mortgage financing in the Syracuse area.

Residents who are interested in learning more about the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative Home Repair Loan Program can call Home HeadQuarters at (315) 474-1939.

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New City Homebuyer Receives Peace of Mind
February 17, 2004

Loretta and Scott Monica have always rented. First, individual apartments in Watertown, and then after they married, various rental homes in and around Syracuse. Yesterday, for the first time in their lives, the Monicas became new homeowners. They were able to purchase their home on the City's near North side due in part to a unique grant offered to Syracuse homebuyers through a partnership between housing not-for-profit agency Home HeadQuarters, Inc, and FleetBank. The Monicas became the first customers to take advantage of Fleet Mortgage's New Homeowner Program which offers a grant that provides the premium for a Home Equity Protection Plan, a Home HeadQuarters pilot program that protects city homeowners should housing prices drop in their neighborhood.

"We just felt like we were winning something," said Loretta Monica. "We had already taken advantage of my company Rural Metro's employer assisted housing program that gave us a financial incentive since we bought in the city; then we learn that Fleet Mortgage offers down payment help and a grant to fund a Home Equity Protection Plan. I just said, 'Where do I sign?'"

Loretta and Scott's new home is located in a neighborhood that they both feel has a solid track record and offers a good elementary school for when they decide to have children. The decision to purchase in the city though, was made easier still for the Monicas with the addition of the Home Equity Protection Plan.

"Maybe we will stay in this house forever, but just in case we don't and we choose to sell it in five years or 20 years, it gives us peace of mind to know that our investment is protected," said Mrs. Monica.

Home Equity Protection ("HEP") is an innovative product that makes it safer for people to invest in a home located within the City of Syracuse. It guarantees homeowners that if the housing market declines in the zip code where they live, they will be protected for part or all of that loss. By providing this protection, HEP also helps to attract and retain homeowners in neighborhoods where there is a concern that property values might go down.

"HEP is one of the most innovative and creative programs we've observed in Upstate New York and Fleet is very interested in supporting sustainable community initiatives," said John L. Mills, Fleet's Upstate Team Leader for Community Development. "I'm very pleased we've developed a partnership with the Syracuse Neighborhood Initiative and Home HeadQuarters and are able to support this very important program for Syracuse."

For more information about the Home Equity Protection Program, or other incentives for city homebuyers, people can call Home HeadQuarters at (315) 474-1939 or FleetBank at (315) 426-4268.

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990 James Street, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13203
Phone (315) 474-1939 Fax (315) 474-0637
Email: info@homehq.org