Neighborhood Housing Services History
Where We’ve Been:
In 1983, local citizens organized to form Neighborhood Housing Services of Richland Center, a nonprofit, community controlled organization. David Harris was the founding Director, with Ray Lawton serving as a key community leader, and Stan Gruszynski from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation assisting the effort. In 1983, expansion prompted a name change to Neighborhood Housing Services of Richland County, and the Park Hotel Senior Citizen Apartments renovation was launched.
NHS continued to grow as additional programs were added. New home construction became a flagship activity, including a period of self-help building in Sextonville in the late 1990s. NeighborWorks America officially recognized the HomeOwnership Center in 2003, and NHS lead on Viola tornado and flood disaster recovery assistance from 2005 to 2007.
The 25th anniversary of NHS began the board of director’s commitment to “going green” and the first in a series of successful concert fundraisers. The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua Blue Canvas Orchestra headlined the stage in 2008 for the first time. A highlight of this period was winning the 2010 State Fair Housing Award. Terry Testolin received the award as an individual professional and NHS, with Ho-Chunk Housing and Community Development Agency (HHCDA), received the award for outstanding partnership. The President John F. Kennedy Community Building and Organizing Center was officially dedicated in late 2012, just prior to a year of activities celebrating the 30th Anniversary of NHS.
Where We’re Going:
As of January 2014, we entered a new era as Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Southwest Wisconsin. We now services 12 counties with a variety of affordable housing programs.
- Continue to maintain the Park Hotel Senior Citizen Apartments as an “exceptional place to call home” and a focal point of downtown Richland Center.
- Offer best-in-the-region Homeownership Center services including counseling, education, and down-payment assistance for homebuyers, and foreclosure and reverse mortgage counseling.Help those who need critical health and safety repairs to their homes through a wise allocation of our homeowner rehab loans.
- Create community leaders through neighborhood-based initiatives and organizational opportunities.
- Seek new partnerships to expand the range of affordable housing services and community building activities available to the residents of Southwest Wisconsin.
- Conduct all our business in a way that honors our commitment to financial responsibility, human empowerment, and environmental stewardship.