NeighborWorks Montana started from the efforts of Neighborhood Housing Services (now NeighborWorks Great Falls) in Great Falls.
NeighborWorks Montana arose
from a need to reach into rural parts
of the state with the same services available in more urban areas.
NWMT has become a national model
for collaborative service to rural
Read here how NWMT overcame obstacles and built together a statewide partnership to address housing issues.
Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) first began working with the North Central Montana Resource Conservation & Development, a ten county area, in 1997 on a pilot program that provided rural families with homebuyer education and access to NHS downpayment, closing costand first mortgage programs. The RC&D Coordinator was trained at a Neighborhood Reinvestment Training Institute and by the Great Falls NHS staff.
The results were so impressive the State RC&D Board asked NHS to expand the program to cover 56 counties.
In addition to the Resource Conservation and Development Areas, NeighborWorks Montana partners with Human Resource Development Councils, tribal housing authorities or local housing organizations to provide homebuyer education, homeownership planning, foreclosure prevention and housing counseling. Many NWMT partners have extensive housing programs including Mutual Self-Help Housing, affordable rentals and housing for persons with disabilities.
The success of the program is in its simplicity. Lenders and real estate professionals in local communities help their customers access the programs. The local partners provide homebuyer education courses and individual homeownership planning. The Great Falls office processes the second mortgage monies from grants and funders. The Montana Board of Housing provides a special set-aside pool of funds for first and second mortgages. Once a family is approved for a first mortgage, the lender sends the loan packet to NWMT for processing. Once the loan is approved, the paperwork is handled by the first mortgage lender. For foreclosure prevention loans, NWMT partners forward the customer's information to the NWMT office in Great Falls, where the loans are approved and processed.
NeighborWorks Montana officially changed their name from Montana Homeownership Network in February of 2007.