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Neighborhoods, Inc. of Battle Creek

helping neighbors achieve healthy neighborhoods


Turning a New Page to Sustainability --A Message from the President & CEO

Our organization has gone through tremendous change and experienced its own tough times as a result. The way we conducted our work in the past is not indicative of the way we will go about it tomorrow. Managing change is an everyday task. That alone makes our work more challenging because we must demonstrate to our stakeholders that we have the capacity to manage through change and be successful. To accomplish this, we have reinforced our skill sets, broadened our search for the best and brightest ideas for community development and rededicated our efforts to provide support to our neighborhoods and the families that live in them. Because we are a community developer, we understand the intricacies and importance of healthy neighborhoods, the value of community engagement, the trust placed in us by our neighbors as lenders and as a landlord, and the trust shown by our funders and volunteers that give their valuable resources of time and money to the work we do. As a newcomer in late 2009, I was struck by the progress that has been made in Battle Creek and middle Michigan despite the overwhelming challenges. I am enthused to become part of this community and NIBC. This organization has a legacy that has touched not only Battle Creek but other cities across the country with its programs and leading edge approaches to community development work. Rest assured that all of us at NIBC are working in the best interest of the community we serve.

The mission of NIBC is to help neighbors achieve healthy neighborhoods by identifying leadership, resources, and effective strategies that bring about long term change. NIBC considers a healthy neighborhood to be: safe, clean, diverse, free of crime & drugs, economically healthy, with caring & involved neighbors and well maintained properties.

Our Mission Statement

Battle Creek. All those other things will work out in time if we stay the course and continue to provide support to each other."

In 1907 the New York Times speculated in a report that Mark Twain may have been lost at sea. Upon his return he wrote that "If there is any foundation for the report, I will at once apprise the anxious public." Some observers of our history

William G. Phillips President & CEO Neighborhoods, Inc. of Battle Creek Bill came to Battle Creek in October 2009 as the Interim CEO of NIBC. He graduated from the business school at the University of Texas in Austin and has been in senior leadership positions in the real estate industry throughout his career.

" Please join us in our celebration of all the positive things in

would say that during the last two years we too have been lost at sea. Home equity, property values, jobs, opportunities, personal wealth and incomes, and families, have been lost in a tide that seems to only be flowing away from us, leaving some high and dry, and others still under water. I want to "apprise the anxious public" that I believe we, as a community, have weathered the worst of it. We can now see the hazards and the opportunities more clearly and that is a valuable perspective to have. Now is the time to celebrate those who have endured the difficult times and those who have kept the faith and continued to work hard to build a new future for their families and this community. We also need to recognize that many families in our area need our support to stay afloat. Do we still have a lot of work and sacrifice remaining? Certainly! Is this the time to be forward looking and hopeful? Absolutely!



NIBC -- What We Do

Through years of work, as well as research, NIBC has learned that the best way to grow healthy families and neighborhoods is to energize and empower residents to become homeowners. With the difficult economy, families need to be engaged, educated, and supported to use homeownership to build family wealth. With this wealth, comes family stability and then neighborhood stability. With these elements, we can develop communities and foster economic development. Additionally, through rental properties, we can energize a family around their home and neighborhood. With the focus on the home, maintenance of each house in each neighborhood is improved, and neighborhoods become healthier, clean, diverse, free of crime and drugs, with caring and involved neighbors and well maintained properties. These translate into economically healthy neighborhoods and communities. And everyone wins! NIBC represents the interest of residents throughout the Battle Creek area. Through the years, NIBC has invested heavily in several distressed neighborhoods within Battle Creek. These neighborhoods typically contain a large population of vulnerable families whose household earnings fall between 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income. We have learned many lessons, probably the most compelling is that stable neighborhoods need a blend of families, and a blend of income levels.


"When the economy felt like a lost cause, NIBC was a very big help talking through all my loan issues." --David Skinner

We pursue our mission by working in four program lines. All of our program lines neighborhoods are the foundation for a strong community. When these elements are present, families thrive, cities grow and gain real and intrinsic value. support systemic changes that make our neighborhoods healthier. Stable, healthy

· · · · · HomePreservation TransactionReviewService ForeclosureCounseling FinancialFitness HomeOwnership · · · · · DownPaymentAssistance HomePurchaseLoans RehabLoans WeatherizationLoans MicroEnterpriseSeedCapital

NIBC's Neighborhood Stabilization and Community Development Programs provide:

· Home loans for the purchase and/or rehabilitation of houses · Home loans in neighborhoods that are in need of financially healthy homeowners · Special financing with programs offered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) · Other special financing such as loans with "sweat equity" as a down payment · Management of the rehabilitation of houses in target neighborhoods · Acquisition of housing from the city, county land bank and private owners for rehabilitation and resale · Rehabilitation of foreclosure --acquired homes · Servicing of loans with a goal of keeping the family in the home · Assistance by education, loan modification or other means, to keep owners in their homes · Demolition of purchased or foreclosed properties · Conventional financing, especially in target neighborhoods · Standard market rentals, especially in target neighborhoods

Educationa & Counseling

Financial Services

Community Engagement

Real Estate Asset Management

· · ·

Community BuildersProgram CommunityHouse Network Homes&Services Program

· · · · ·

HomesforRent HomesforSale LeasetoPurchase Development&Rehab Project&Construction Management




Educational Programs that Move People Up the Ladder of Homeownership

Helping People Avoid Foreclosure

"This is one program we would like to see go away from lack of demand." The economic crisis has left people of all income levels facing the loss of their home. "Foreclosure crosses all lines," says Powell. NIBC is a HUD-certified counseling center, helping people avoid foreclosure when at all possible. Counselors diagnose each individual's situation, guide them through available options, and help them develop a customized plan for keeping them in their home.

"Scam programs target our most vulnerable residents with predatory foreclosure mitigation and mortgage modification offers. Residents need to make sure they deal with reputable people and spread the word. At NIBC, we offer free financial fitness classes and one-on-one foreclosure mitigation counseling services for any area homeowner facing the possibility of losing their home. We believe that education builds strong homeowners, and strong homeowners build strong neighborhoods." William G. Phillips President, NIBC

This program is funded in part by State Farm Insurance.


Part of the mission of NIBC is to help residents make informed choices about where they live and how they manage their money. "People need to know there's more to home buying than feeling good about finally having something to call their own," says NIBC educator Yvonne Powell. "It sure does feel good, but are you prepared for the lifestyle changes of becoming a home owner? We can help."

Preparing People for Home Ownership

NIBC offers classes to help people understand the process of buying and owning a home. First time home buyers at all home prices and incomes need to prepare for homeownership. "It's not just, Can I afford this house?" says Powell. "It's also, What am I getting? Can I afford to live there?" The home ownership class helps residents answer these questions and covers credit scores and mortgages, and builds a team of people to help shop for a home, making an informed purchase that the homeowner can sustain.

and NIBC helped clarify things and got me on the road to a successful mortgage plan. They're just there for you--always."

--Irene Moore

"I was grasping at any straw I could to avoid foreclosure,

Guiding People to Financial Fitness

Successfully managing personal finances is at the root of home ownership. NIBC offers a series of classes designed to help people make strategic decisions about how they spend their income. Participants learn how to establish (or rebuild) good credit, avoid scams and predatory high-cost loans and credit cards, set financial goals and make spending choices that separate `needs' from `wants'.



Increasing Family Income and Wealth


to go. NIBC got me started and stuck with me, they never gave up on me." --Dawn Armstrong

" Without a budget, you don't know where

Financial Services and Real Estate Asset Management for Community Growth

NIBC works with several specialized organizations to build partnerships, develop loan products and support financing vehicles that expand housing opportunities. NIBC establishes relationships with mission-driven investment funds from foundations, and arranges financing with banks, credit unions or other investors to acquire at-risk loan portfolios.

Working Together Toward a Common Goal " Battle Creek is a place where people can seamlessly live

and work in a sustainable urban community. There are no borders between our city's core and neighborhoods, which are both rich with history and growth potential."

--Karl Dehn, President & CEO, Battle Creek Unlimited

Strong neighborhoods contribute significantly to a vital urban community. Through BCU's partnerships with neighbors and city-wide organizations, the City of Battle Creek is transforming its downtown to accommodate a growing food industry, more jobs, strong education and healthy lifestyles. Safe neighborhoods and involved citizens are necessary for success of our downtown transformation strategy. There are no borders between the city's core and neighborhoods, which are both rich with history and potential. Working together, BCU and NIBC are driving progress into residential areas that link directly to our downtown district. With community involvement, we will enrich the existing areas that strive for safety and diversity. We thank supporters of the Downtown Transformation, because their efforts are helping us to build on our unique opportunity to create industries and jobs that directly benefit our neighborhoods.

This is an aerial view of downtown Battle Creek's future streetscape. The area will be rejuvenated with a water-history themed design that features boulevard trees, safe and tranquil walkways just blocks away from residential areas. Neighbors will be able to enjoy the walkways with a leisurely stroll from their homes.

NIBC builds sustainable communities with more than just housing. The physical redevelopment of communities-- though very important to their revitalization--can only take them so far. NIBC knows that we need to focus on helping families build their own prosperity and create ways for both individuals and communities to connect to the economic mainstream. These connections have benefits beyond those who find jobs and improve their financial well being--they broadly affect our productivity and economic prospects.

Just as changes in the economy have placed many hardships on families, it is creating opportunity. NIBC is prepared to seize these unique opportunities when they become available. The creation and preservation of safe, affordable, mixed-income housing continues to be a high priority for NIBC, especially in these challenging times. Through alliances with local nonprofit housing providers and state and local funders, NIBC promotes the development of hundreds of units of affordable and marketable mixed-income housing. NIBC now has the capacity to serve as an asset manager or construction manager for other entities on a fee for service basis. NIBC already acts as a construction manager in certain circumstances and will seek to expand those types of activities.




Community Houses Provide a Vehicle for Stronger Families and Neighborhoods Sprouting Change from the Ground Up

NIBC is helping Battle Creek live healthier by supporting the Sprout Urban Farms movement, a resident-led network of neighborhood gardeners working to change the way we eat and interact. When residents of the north side The barriers to owning and maintaining a stable home are a challenge for many residents in the City of Battle Creek who lack the means or knowledge to get the assistance they need in these challenging economic times. The staff at NIBC is working daily to remove these barriers through the establishment of Community Houses located in the heart of the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods. So, on any given day, residents living in or near the Calhoun Street, Creekside, Post Franklin, Spring Grove Hill or Washington Heights neighborhoods will have access to the type of information and programs that will help them succeed, not just as home owners, but also as individuals and families. These Community Houses have volunteer leadership who work with other community volunteers and multidisciplinary teams to provide cost-effective, results-oriented programming to residents. In addition, these Community Houses will contain such activities as the "Tool Library" which will enable residents to check out and borrow tools for home repairs and maintenance. Accessibility to a variety of services in a non-threatening atmosphere, close to home, is the goal of each Community House. Site coordinator John Wright believes the garden project can help change the neighborhood from one stigmatized by crime and blight to one where residents work together to make the area a safe, healthy place to live. "After just one planting season, we're already seeing the seeds of change sprouting," says Wright. "One day people see us working in the garden and stop by to chat, and the next day they're showing up with tools in their hand, asking What can I do?" Fremont-Frelinghuysen neighborhood wanted to start a local community garden, NIBC helped them acquire access to a vacant lot. NIBC is leasing the lot from the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority for $1 per year, and in turn has an agreement with the "Fremont Tomatoheads" to run the property as a public garden, open to all residents who wish to participate.

Engaging the Community

Community engagement is an essential program for NIBC--it serves as an access point to the community. Adequate and stable housing must include bundling and delivery of services to provide real, lasting impact to children, families and everyone in our neighborhoods. Community need is what drove NIBC's decision to expand the number and programming of NIBC's Community Houses in 2010.

a vital component for family stability. But providing physical structures and even financing is not enough. We need integration of services to provide real, lasting impact."

--Bill Phillips, President, NIBC

" We want to facilitate holistic solutions--housing stability is



Neighborhoods, Inc. of Battle Creek

Answering the Needs of Our Community

In 1981, NIBC was formed to help stabilize targeted "downtown" neighborhoods by purchasing, selling and rehabilitating houses, originating first and second mortgage loans as well as providing grassroots programs. Its mission was expanded to the entire metropolitan area in 2004. The Board, along with dedicated community partners, work together to address the specific housing needs and blighting influences affecting Battle Creek, its residents and families. NIBC is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), a U.S. Treasury program, and a certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). As a NeighborWorks Homeownership Center, NIBC embraces Full Cycle Lending and is a loan originating agent for Michigan State Housing Development Authority. NIBC provides community engagement, financial literacy and homeownership education, foreclosure mitigation and counseling, lending and loan portfolio management and real estate management and development, including new home construction and rehabilitation.

Points of Success

· NIBC presently services just under 300 home loans with mortgages originated by NIBC. Some of these are second mortgages. · NIBC has been working with the City of Battle Creek, with use of a blue print, to transform neighborhoods close to downtown, into safe, clean, diverse, crime-free, stable neighborhoods. · During 2009, NIBC mitigated 382 foreclosures, successfully keeping 276 families in their homes with a total fair market

Our Partners

City of Battle Creek W.K. Kellogg Foundation Miller Foundation Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) State Farm Insurance Company Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company (Freddie Mac) Non-Profit Alliance Independent Bank Comerica Bank Battle Creek Community Foundation

value of $16.5 million. · As a by-product, NIBC kept these homes from being liquidated into an already depressed market, ending in investor owned rentals and unstable neighborhoods. · NIBC increases homeownership which is the best method to stabilize families, neighborhoods and the community.



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