Charity Review

Issued: May 2014 Expires: May 2016

Charity Seal Holder

Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.

Meets Standards
 
(804) 329-2500 2712 Chamberlayne Ave, Richmond VA 23222-3504 www.nhsofr.org
  1. Conclusions
  2. Complaints
  3. Purpose
  4. Programs
  5. Governance & Staff
  6. Fund Raising
  7. Tax Status
  8. Financial
Conclusions

Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Complaints

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

3 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 2
Total Closed Complaints 3

Purpose

Established in 1981, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. is the oldest community development corporation in the City of Richmond. With over 32 years of service to the Virginia area, the organization’s first efforts were aimed at responding to the increase in urban blight, the decrease in the availability of quality affordable housing, and the shrinking opportunities for economic self-sufficiency in Central Virginia Over the years, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. has made significant progress towards addressing community concerns, while providing new opportunities for growth within the Central Virginia area. As a HomeOwnership Center, we understand the importance of affordable homeownership and have focused our mission on “promoting successful homeownership and revitalizing neighborhoods.”

Incorporated: 1981 in VA

Programs

Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. understands the significance of becoming a homeowner and has committed itself to creating opportunities for homeownership, specifically among low- to moderate-income families. This partnership help support a Homeownership Center that is designed to provide families with the resources needed to successfully plan for, purchase and maintain a home. As a “one-stop-shop” for homeownership, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc. offers the following programs and services all under one roof: Pre-Purchase Homebuyer Education and Housing Counseling, Financial Literacy and Individual Development Accounts, and Counseling, and Default Counseling/Foreclosure Prevention. One-on-One Housing Counseling Anyone interested in buying a home is required to meet with one of Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.’s HUD certified housing counselors. Some prospective homebuyers are not “mortgage ready” and can benefit from long-term support in resolving past credit or budgeting problems. The homeownership counselor works with each individual or family to: • Analyze their mortgage readiness; • Determine what type of home the prospective homebuyer can afford; • Assist the prospective homebuyer in developing an action plan to cure any credit challenges; • Develop a homeownership track for classes and programs that best fits their needs; and • Provide long-term support throughout the entire home buying process. It has been proven that pre-purchase counseling can make a significant impact in two separate areas. First, it is expected to increase the effectiveness, or rationality, of the home-buying decision. In other words, pre-purchase counseling can enable an individual or family to make a more rational decision about whether they should become homeowners, and if so, under what circumstances. Second, pre-purchase counseling is believed to have an effect on the subsequent stability of the homeowner and, therefore, on the likelihood of loan delinquency or default. The underlying assumption is that the better prepared the homebuyer is for homeownership, the less likely he or she is to run into difficulty down the road. Homebuyer Education Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.’s Homebuyer Education Certification Course, known as FasTrak to Homeownership, is an eight-hour course designed for customers with fairly minor obstacles in their pursuit towards homeownership. Usually, the obstacles can be resolved within a month or two. Working in conjunction with our professional staff, volunteer instructors from the real estate, insurance, financial, legal and inspection industries help prospective homebuyers minimize the fear of the home buying process by providing clear and consistent information and high quality guidance for buying a home. The objective of the course is to help answer the many questions a prospective homebuyer may have regarding the home buying process. Borrowers who participate in the Homebuyer Education class are usually required to successfully complete the course as a qualification to entitle them to a reduction of the cost of mortgage insurance, down payment and closing costs assistance. As an incentive to participating in the Homebuyers Club, qualified participants are given the option to open an Individual Development Account (IDA) to encourage saving and asset building. The IDA component is restricted to first-time homebuyers earning between 50-115% of the area median income (AMI).

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.'s program expenses were:


Program services:                               $531,561
Cost of residential real estate sales:     $230,899
Total Program Expenses:                    $762,460

Governance & Staff

CEO: Ms. Christie V. Smith, Executive Director

Board Chair: Mr. Tom McNally

Board Size: 9

Staff: 8

Fund Raising
Method(s) used: Invitations to Fundraising Events Grant Proposals Internet Appeals

% of Related Contributions on Fundraising: 8.31%

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

Financial

The following information is based on Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond, Inc.'s Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Source of Funds
Contributions $459,029
Lending Fee Income $171,428
Residential real estate sales $138,000
Interest on mortgage loans $137,722
Other income $34,274
Grants $21,000
Total Income: $961,453
 
Fusion Chart
 
Program Expenses: $762,460
Fundraising Expenses: $39,888
Administrative Expenses: $68,565
Total Expenses: $870,913
 
Income in Excess of Expenses: $90,540
 
Beginning Net Assets: $658,453
Ending Net Assets: $748,993
Total Liabilities: $2,006,946
Total Assets: $2,755,938


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This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

Standards Legend

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Standard 1: Board Oversight


Description:

Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

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Standard 2: Board Size


Description:

Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

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Standard 3: Board Meetings


Description:

An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

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Standard 4: Board Compensation


Description:

Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

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Standard 5: Conflict of Interest


Description:

No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

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Standard 6: Effectiveness Policy


Description:

Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

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Standard 7: Effectiveness Report


Description:

Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

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Standard 8: Program Expenses


Description:

Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

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Standard 9: Fund Raising Expenses


Description:

Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

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Standard 10: Accumulating Funds


Description:

Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

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Standard 11: Audit Report


Description:

Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

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Standard 12: Detailed Expense Breakdown


Description:

Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.

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Standard 13: Accurate Expense Reporting


Description:

Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

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Standard 14: Budget Plan


Description:

Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

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Standard 15: Truthful Materials


Description:

Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

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Standard 16: Annual Report


Description:

Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

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Standard 17: Website Disclosures


Description:

Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

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Standard 18: Donor Privacy


Description:

Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

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Standard 19: Cause Marketing Disclosures


Description:

Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

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Standard 20: Complaints


Description:

Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.