National Community Stabilization Trust

National Community Stabilization Trust
National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST)
Type Non Profit
Founded 2008
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Washington, D.C.
Website The National Community Stabilization Trust

The National Community Stabilization Trust (“NCST” or “Stabilization Trust”) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that facilitates the transfer of foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial institutions nationwide to local housing organizations to promote property reuse and neighborhood stability. According to U.S. Banker, the Stabilization Trust was "created to act as a middleman between cities looking to acquire abandoned properties and the lenders looking to unload them."[1]

The Stabilization Trust was founded in 2008 in response to America’s foreclosure crisis following the bursting of the housing bubble. Craig Nickerson serves as President and Thomas Bledsoe, President and CEO of Housing Partnership Network, is the chairman of the Board of Managers.

Working with state and local governments and community-based organizations, the Stabilization Trust's goal is to build local capacity to effectively acquire, manage, rehabilitate and sell foreclosed property to ensure homeownership and rental housing are available to low-and moderate-income families[2]. The Stabilization Trust also provides greater access to flexible financing for neighborhood stabilization activities.

The organization has often been cited in the media on topics such as maximizing use of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants[3].


History and Successes

The Stabilization Trust was formed in 2008 through a collaboration of six national community development non-profit organizations: Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Housing Partnership Network, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Urban League and NeighborWorks America.

The Stabilization Trust piloted its REO Property Acquisition program in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Saint Paul, Minnesota in early 2009.[4] The organization worked with the two cities to successfully transfer more than 230 foreclosed or abandoned properties within its first year. The Minnesota Post reported that the Trust "acts as a national clearinghouse to streamline communications. It serves as a single point of contact. Every day, participating institutions give the Trust a master list of properties that will come on the market soon. The Trust then forwards the information to partner organizations, which get a first look before they go on sale publicly."[5]

Since its pilot, the Stabilization Trust has expanded its program to 115 NSP-funded local buyers representing more than 250 localities across 38 states.

In Florida, Hillsborough County partnered with the Stabilization Trust to learn about foreclosed properties and to move on them before private investors know they are available.[6]

In Baltimore, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center and Habitat for Humanity signed on with the Stabilization Trust to simplify the buying process. The Trust has hammered out agreements with major lenders to standardize acquisitions and let recipients of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding get a first look at new foreclosures.[7]

Las Vegas County also began working with the Stabilization Trust to get a "first look" at properties by receiving filtered properties in target ZIP codes via e-mail. Using the Trust's system, in only two weeks, sellers accepted offers on an additional five houses. A Vegas County housing official said working with the trust is the sort of tweak that may move the Neighborhood Stabilization Program closer to its goals, but the rate at which this occurs depends on how many banks work with the trust, and how many houses banks release onto the trusts's lists.[8]

The Utah Center for Affordable Housing said the Stabilization Trust was key to its effort to buy homes at a deep discount.[9]

Philadelphia's stabilization program picked up steam through working with the Stabilization Trust by getting increased access to Chase bank properties.[10] In the U.S. Banker article, Nickerson is quoted as saying, "We have working relationships with all the big players - Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, Fannie, Freddie, GMAC, and others."

The Stabilization Trust has received major support from the Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation, among other leaders in the philanthropic community. The Ford Foundation's contribution is reportedly among the largest so-called program-related investments by a foundation.[11]


The Stabilization Trust serves as a bridge between financial institutions and localities by streamlining and standardizing the process of transferring bank-owned foreclosed properties – commonly known as Real Estate Owned (REO) – to local government and nonprofits.[12] The Stabilization Trust accomplishes this goal in two ways:

1. Assistance with Acquiring Properties. The Stabilization Trust helps state and local programs acquire foreclosed and abandoned properties from financial institutions through its REO Property Acquisition Program by:

  • Acting as a single point of contact with the leading financial institutions holding and managing these properties, thus saving considerable time and effort for local housing providers seeking to acquire foreclosed and abandoned houses.[13]
  • Providing a standardized and simplified process for receiving property listings and evaluating pricing offers from financial institutions.
  • Offering first-look access to properties by allowing localities an opportunity to evaluate properties before they are more broadly marketed.

2. Flexible Financing. The Stabilization Trust REO Capital Fund LLC, the financing arm of the National Community Stabilization Trust, provides specially-tailored loan products to administrators of local neighborhood stabilization programs. Using philanthropic and public sources to leverage private capital for neighborhood stabilization activities, the REO Capital Fund was created to help municipalities and community-based organizations finance the acquisition, rehabilitation and interim holding of distressed properties to maximize their on-the-ground impact in neighborhoods hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. In addition, the REO Capital Fund provides short-term bridge financing of government receivables pursuant to an award of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds. Loans are underwritten and originated for local borrowers by participating locally active Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), including Community Housing Capital, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Housing Partnership Fund, LISC and Raza Development Fund.[14]

Governance and Organizational Structure

1. The Sponsors. The Stabilization Trust is sponsored by six non-profit organizations with national reputations for innovation in community-based housing and economic development. Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Housing Partnership Network, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), National Urban League, and NeighborWorks America. All of the organizations have been directly involved in activities to address foreclosure prevention, loss mitigation and issues facing communities across the country that are resulting from the foreclosure crisis.

2. Board of Managers. The Stabilization Trust has a Board of Managers composed of the executive leaders of the six sponsoring organizations. The executive leaders are:

  • Doris Koo, President & CEO, Enterprise Community Partners
  • Thomas Bledsoe, President & CEO, Housing Partnership Network
  • Ken Wade, President & CEO, NeighborWorks America
  • Michael Rubinger, President & CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
  • Janet Murguia, President & CEO, National Council of La Raza

3. Stabilization Trust President - Craig Nickerson Craig Nickerson, President of the National Community Stabilization Trust, has held leadership roles in the affordable housing arena for over 35 years.

From 1997 to 2008, Nickerson was Vice President of Expanding Markets for Freddie Mac, where he was responsible for supporting the affordable housing needs of mortgage lenders, building housing industry partnerships to strengthen underserved communities and increasing homeownership opportunity. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Nickerson worked for Secretary of HUD, Henry Cisneros as Coordinator of the "National Partners in Homeownership," a public-private partnership involving 65 national organizations, dedicated to increase homeownership opportunities in America.

Nickerson is frequently cited as an expert on foreclosure crisis and neighborhood revitalization issues; he has appeared on PBS Nightly Business Report [15] and produced a podcast for the Atlanta Federal Reserve.[16] He is also a contributor to the Huffington Post.[17]

4. Stabilization Trust Structure

The executive leadership and support team of the Stabilization Trust is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Stabilization Trust Transaction Operation Center is based in Dallas, TX. Regionally based employees for the Stabilization Trust are located in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Tampa. New York City-based Forsyth Street Advisors serves as the third-party Fund Manager of the Stabilization Trust REO Capital Fund.


  1. ^ U.S. Banker, April 10, Glen Fest "Cities Take the Keys"
  2. ^ Reuters, August 27, 2009, “National Collaboration Turns Foreclosures Into Opportunities.”
  3. ^, September 29, 2009, Tami Luhby, “Foreclosure Blight: The Cleanup Crawls Along.”
  4. ^ Star Tribune, November 12, 2008, Steven Brandt, ”Nonprofits Get Chance to Buy Homes in Foreclosure.”
  5. ^, April 7, 2009, “To Help Stabilize Neighborhoods, Nonprofits get First Look at Foreclosed Property.”
  6. ^ St. Petersburg Times, October 23, 2009, Marlene Sokol, “Housing Stimulus Lacks Traction In Tampa and Hillsborough.”
  7. ^ The Baltimore Sun, December 31, 2009, Jamie Smith Hopkins, “U.S. Mortgage Aid Funds Moving Slowly.”
  8. ^ Las Vegas Sun, November 8, 2009, Timothy Pratt,“ Cities, Counties Find Buying Valley Homes Isn’t Easy.”
  9. ^ The Salt Lake Tribune, December 9, 2009, “Affordable Housing Gets A Stimulus Boost.”
  10. ^ Philadelphia Business Journal, December 4, 2009, Athena Merritt. “Neighborhood Stabilization Program Proving a Success.”
  11. ^ The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2009, Mike Spector, “Foundation Backs Foreclosures Project.”
  12. ^ Four-part webinar series with practical information on how to implement a stabilization plan.
  13. ^ Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Community Development Insights, March 2009, “Property Disposition: Exploring Different Approaches for Preserving Affordable Housing Opportunities.”
  14. ^ Transcript of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta podcast with Tyler Van Gundy on the subject of “Intermediary Lending Products for Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grantees.”
  15. ^ PBS Nightly Business Report, December 28, 2009, “A Look at the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”
  16. ^ Transcript of Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta podcast with Craig Nickerson on the subject of “Lessons From Community Stabilization Partnerships.”
  17. ^ The Huffington Post, January 28, 2010, “State of the Foreclosure Crisis.”

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