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Frequently Asked Questions

Established in 1975, NHS is a nonprofit, neighborhood revitalization organization committed to helping homeowners and strengthening neighborhoods. Neighborhood Lending Services, Inc. (NLS), an NHS-related corporation, is Illinois’ largest nonprofit lender for new homebuyers and homeowners. NHS is committed to providing Chicago and Elgin residents affordable resources so they can buy, fix, and keep their homes.
NHS offers services to individuals looking to Buy, Fix or Keep a home.

For those looking to buy a home NHS offers free Home Buyer Education classes in English and Spanish at several locations. NHS’ homeownership consultants work with individual homebuyers to educate and prepare individuals for homeownership. Neighborhood Lending Services, our lending division, provides loans to borrowers in Chicago, Elgin, Carpentersville and some South Suburban Communities who want to purchase a home or repair or refinance their home.

For homeowners facing a hardship we offer one-on-one consultations. Our homeownership consultants work with people in danger of losing their homes by reviewing the financial situation and submitting an application for assistance to the mortgage servicer.

We also have a Redevelopment Corporation who reclaims vacant properties by buying them, fully rehabbing them using "green" building practices, and then selling them to new homeowners.
NHS partners with neighborhood residents, block clubs, financial institutions, insurance companies, the City of Chicago, the City of Elgin, Kane County, corporations and foundations to help working families become homeowners and to protect and preserve their single biggest investment—their homes. NHS neighborhood offices provide insurance and financial counseling, homebuyer preparation, foreclosure intervention services, and rehabilitation and lending assistance. NHS uses these resources to stimulate reinvestment and restore confidence in a neighborhood.
NHS provides affordable, fixed-rate mortgage loans to qualified homebuyers through Neighborhood Lending Services, Inc. (NLS), a nonprofit Illinois Residential Mortgage licensee (#M00661) and Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.
Yes. With an affordable fixed-rate home improvement loan from NLS, you can make home improvements, such as upgrading your kitchen or bathroom, fixing or replacing a leaking roof, replacing your furnace, installing new windows, building a garage, installing central air conditioning, or other kinds of home improvement/rehab work that you need. A qualified NHS Construction Specialist will guide you through your home improvement project by providing a written work plan and specifications for the work, assisting you in securing bids from licensed and insured contractors, and working with you to monitor the work as it is being performed.

The Chicago Greystone Initiative ® is here to be your one-stop resource for practical, accessible information and technical guidance on how to best rehab and maintain a vintage home – from greystones and workers cottages to bungalows and raised ranches.
If you are at risk of losing your home, NHS' homeownership consultants provide foreclosure intervention counseling and may be able to help you negotiate a loan modification or other workout with your lender.
Understanding the home buying process can make your home purchase less confusing and scary. NHS offers a free 8-hour curriculum at several locations throughout Chicago, Elgin and East Hazel Crest. Held in both English and Spanish several times each month, the classes provide all the information customers need to purchase, rehab, insure, and maintain a home. Upon completion of the program, attendees receive a Homeownership Education Certificate, which many lenders require for first-time homebuyers as a condition of closing on a mortgage loan.
NLS has several programs and forgivable loans to assist first-time homebuyers in Chicago and offers deferred loans to first-time homebuyers in Elgin and Kane County. NHS also works with a number of Employer-Assisted Housing programs that offer financial assistance to employees that are purchasing a home. Forgivable loan programs and/or deferred loan programs have income and other eligibility requirements.
No. NLS provides mortgage loans to qualified homebuyers for the purchase of a home in any Chicago community, as well as Elgin, Carpentersville and some southern suburbs. Certain terms and conditions apply to NLS’ loans. A Loan Officer would be happy to talk to you about our loan products.
NLS’ loans are available for low- and moderate-income borrowers within the city limits of Chicago, Elgin, Carpentersville and some southern suburbs. NHS’ Home Buyer Education classes are available to all potential homebuyers, regardless of where they are thinking about purchasing their home.
No. NLS, through the Neighborhood Lending Program, provides deferred and/or forgivable loans for home purchase, home improvement, and refinance with rehab. Deferred and/or forgivable loans have a range of income, residency, and occupancy requirements.
The NHS Redevelopment Corporation (NHSRC) owns and manages rental apartments, primarily on Chicago’s West and South Sides. NHSRC also has single-family homes for rent. For information on apartments for rent call Villa Capital at 773-363-1000 or Pioneer Property Advisors at 708-408-4902. For information on homes for rent call Manage Chicago at 773-449-5151.
No. NHS is a private nonprofit organization. NHS works closely with the City of Chicago, the City of Elgin, and Kane County on many programs. NHS also works with dozens of financial institutions, insurance companies, and other businesses to provide loans and community development services to Chicago and Elgin.
NHS receives support through contributions from individual and corporate donors, from local, state and national government along with fees from some of our services.