Testimony about NHSJ Workshops

My name is Tamara Byam, a single minority mother with the goal of achieving the American Dream of owing my own home.

Through a very good friend and some research of my own, I found out about the First Time Home Buyers Workshop offered through Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, NY. I have been attending the classes for the past 10 months and during that time I have learned so much on what it takes to own a home. With what I learned at the workshops offered at NHSJ I was able to improve my credit rating and my credit scores went from 600 to 643 in a short time; opened a savings account with HSBC that has a special program for first time homebuyers; maintained my bills and so much more. I also learned how to determine what I could afford with my income; how to maintain a mortgage and most importantly, not to become a victim of foreclosure.

I strongly appeal to you to support the NHSJ and their knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging staff to continue these workshops for minorities or anyone who wants to aspire the American Dream. With the knowledge and support from the NHSJ staff prospective homeowners can one day achieve their dreams.

Thanks to the Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, I am on the right track.

Prospective First Time Home Buyer.
Tamara Byam

Mercedes Acosta went to NHS for a 1st time Home buyer Seminar and information meeting about their services to the community and although I didn't qualified for many of their incentive programs I decided to stick around for their counseling and guidance as I embarked on this journey. I met with Jackie Camacho in October, 2007 to go over my home affordability. This service is imperative for anyone to know specially during these trouble times. There are still realtors that insensitively lead you to believe that you can afford anything that you might want. With my home affordability worksheet I was able to let any realtor know what I can and can't afford and make wise decisions. Jackie also helped me acquire pre-approvals from two local banks with discount programs for 1st time homebuyers. She was there to assist me with all of my concerns via emails, phone calls and follow counseling sessions. It took me about a year to find a home due to the fact that the housing market along with the economy was steadily declining and I was apprehensive about getting into such an overwhelming responsibility. Finally on February 2009 I finally found my dream home and signed contract without consulting Jackie but i could not let the offer pass me by. Once I had the contract I was told that I had to close in 30 days. At that time I contacted the lender Jackie had originally refer to who indicated could not guarantee me the 30 day closing. At that time I called Jackie who put me at ease by saying "Mercedes do not worry, if you do what I tell you to do you will close in 30 days". Sure enough I did just like Jackie instruct me and sure enough I closed in less than 30 days with a FHA mortgage fixed for 30 years at 5.0 % rate. I have been recommending others to NHS services and know of a few friends that have contacted other NHS office in Queens; I definitely would continue to recommend NHSJ services to others. I'm looking forward to being part of their other programs available for home owners like home maintenance training.

Mercedes Acosta
Jamaica, Queens

My name is Michelle Gordon, and I own a three family investment property in Brooklyn. My third floor tenant just had a new born baby boy and the Department of Health and Hygiene citied me with 53 violations regarding lead; due to the Newborn Baby. I was very confused as to what was going on and not sure how to manage the issue. I went to NHSJ for advice and learn more about lead. Derek Johnson and Patricia Vosges were cordial and helpful to assist me with a grant. Immediately, Anthony Demicolo from lead connection was contacted and Bill Booker was scheduled to do a risk assessment on the apartment that week. NHSJ placed me in a free Lead Prevention Program that they have. I attended a lead training that was very informative and I received a certificate at the end. Shortly after, I received my grant. I thank you for helping me through my difficult time in need and I will recommend others to NHSJ.

Michelle Gordon