This case study describes the New Orleans Neighborhood Development Foundation (NDF). It does not build, rehab, or sell homes nor does it directly provide home purchase financing. Nonetheless, the organization has proved that a well-designed and efficient program of counseling and training, working in cooperation with public and private financing sources, can help an impressive number of low-income families buy homes. As of September 1, 1996, the day of its 10-year anniversary, this successful and widely copied home buyer assistance program had helped low- and moderate-income families obtain over $53 million in financing to buy 1,285 homes in New Orleans and New Orleans Parish.
The NDF program quickly became a national model because of its success in creating homeowners without using any incentives, such as mortgage subsidies, or new homes offered at discount prices. NDF has trained and counseled nearly 2,600 clients. While only about one out of two trainees have bought homes to date, this is an excellent success rate for a program that offers no purchase subsidies.
Community-based organizations that are starting new home purchase assistance programs, or those who may want to fine-tune existing programs will find this resource useful.
This case study is one of 11 included in the 1996 Enterprise Foundation publication entitled "Helping Families Build Assets: Nonprofit Homeownership Programs." The book was researched and written in order to discover how each home buyer assistance program operates and what can be learned from a comparative analysis.