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YNDC Receives $300k from Local Bank for Lending - Vindicator


The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. has found a new partner in its mission to get more homeowners in the city.

After three years without a defaulted loan, the YNDC has been able to convince an area bank to help with its mortgage program. Cortland Banks will provide $300,000 in loans on homes rehabilitated by YNDC.

The original program included mortgages backed by the YNDC, and there was $1 million in funding to start, said Tiffany Sokol, housing director for the YNDC.

By the end of August, YNDC will hold loans on 19 homes under the program. The mortgages are held under the original program by YNDC, but serviced by Home Savings & Loan.

The Cortland Banks program will provide assistance to homes that have been renovated by the YNDC in these neighborhoods: Idora, Indian Village, Handel, Brownlee Woods, Powerstown, Lincoln Knolls, Crandall Park and the Garden District.

The renovation combined with the mortgages is a way to help ensure good housing stock in the city, Sokol said.

The bank partnership also is important because with current banking conditions there are some companies that won’t give loans within the city, she said. Those companies require minimum loan amounts after banking reforms that limited how much they could charge in fees and much of the city’s housing stock doesn’t meet those minimum numbers.

For example, in 2013, there were fewer than 11 homes that received bank loans in 10 sections of the city and four sections where zero homes were sold with loans, according to figures from The Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

It’s important that banks are willing lend their own money to people in Youngstown using the standards and model that was created by the YNDC, said Ian Beniston, executive director of the YNDC.

When overall house sales numbers within the city are considered, the YNDC efforts are becoming increasing significant, he said.

“The goal was to prove to banks that the people we’ve given loans to can have successful mortgages,” Sokol said. “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to convince them so quickly.”

The people who are accepted into this program are considered to be high risk, she said. They wouldn’t qualify for a traditional loan.

Stan Feret, Cortland Banks’ senior vice president and chief lending officer, said the loan terms are conditions will be a “little more favorable” than what the bank the usually has. For example, a lower down payment may be accepted and the credit scores may be under.

“There is going to be more risk than the traditional deal,” Feret said.

The program requires that those involved get loan counseling before getting a mortgage and then take classes for maintaining their homes, Sokol said. The financial counseling involved makes it less of a risk for the bank.

“We want to make them the best homeowners they can be,” Sokol said.

They also must start a savings account that is monitored by the YNDC, Sokol said. The homeowner can’t withdraw money from the savings account without YNDC permission.

“The savings-account requirement is to ensure the homeowner has a cushion in case something needs to be fixed at the home, she said.

The median home price in the city is roughly $26,000, which means the Cortland Banks program will result in about 30 new homes purchased, Sokol said.

Being a part of the program allows Cortland Banks to help YNDC market the areas and bring more people here.

“[YNDC] is revitalizing neighborhoods,” Feret said. “We are a believer in the concept.”

To read the full story at Vindy.com, click here.