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Davis, California

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

NeighborWorks breaks into Davis

Davis residents seeking assistance in buying or selling a home now have recourse to a new service.

Partnering with the city’s Community Services Department, affordable housing organization NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Sacramento announced on June 22 the expansion of its operations to Davis.

“The goal is to be a one-stop shop for someone who wants to buy a home,” said NeighborWorks Sacramento Affordable Housing manager Emilee Ford.

Associated with the greater NeighborWorks America, the Sacramento division is a non-profit organization that provides various services to prospective and current homeowners, including financial support, housing education and home-related counseling.

In a program specific to Davis, NeighborWorks Sacramento will act as an intermediary, aiding Davis homeowners who are looking to sell their properties. The organization assigns the sellers to the buyers – like a matchmaker.

“We only get involved when somebody wants to sell their unit,” Ford said. “We provide that third-party check.”

The extra check entails probing into the financial backgrounds of the two parties involved in a home transaction. If the prospective home-buyer’s income exceeds a certain limit, they may not be eligible to buy a home in a NeighborWorks-brokered transaction.

“We’re making sure that [the buyers] make enough money to afford the home but not so much money that they’re not eligible to buy it,” Ford said. “We’re really focused on folks who are [lower-income], that might not have the opportunity to buy homes without our help.”

The non-profit has recently established itself as the administrator of lower priced housing units in Parque Santiago, Southfield Park and Cassell Lane in Davis.

Sellers must pay NeighborWorks 1 percent of their home price if they sign up for the organization’s services. Dave Taormino, co-owner of local Coldwell Banker Doug Arnold Real Estate, however, sees little value in NeighborWorks’ involvement in Davis because the city has long offered its own comparable affordable housing programs.

“They’re a valuable organization, but I see little demand for Davis,” he said. “Whatever need exists in Davis is handled by the city already.”

Taormino cited Woodland and other parts of Sacramento as more lucrative areas into which NeighborWorks should have instead focused its business.

Perhaps NeighborWorks will benefit Davis through its wealth of community “revitalization” programs that provide key functions for the improvement of neighborhoods. One such initiative, “Weed and Seed,” attempts to lower a community’s crime rate to foster a safer neighborhood environment.

NeighborWork’s foray into Davis territory will have little impact on UC Davis students, who primarily rent housing, but it is bound to introduce the idea of a helpful and educational organization to students who will at some point in the future contemplate buying a home or an apartment.

YARA ELMJOUIE can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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