History of NHS

NHS was established in 1981 by a group of residents who wanted to stimulate revitalization in the Allentown community. Originally called Allentown Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc., the agency provided housing rehabilitation services to home owners through a revolving loan fund in order to improve and preserve residential structures. The agency also worked to build a sense of neighborhood identity and to promote a cooperative spirit among residents, community agencies, and local government.

In 1992, NHS began providing down payment and closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers in Allentown. This assistance helped low and moderate income families realize their dream of home ownership. The agency gradually expanded its target area and by 1998 was serving the entire Lehigh Valley region. In 1994, NHS completed construction of 23 units of affordable rental housing located on North Tenth Street in Allentown. These units consist of two and three-bedroom apartments.

In 2002, the agency officially changed its name to Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. to reflect the fact that NHS serves the entire Lehigh Valley region. In 2002, NHS staff started teaching a Financial Fitness course to help clients improve their financial management skills. In 2006 and in 2008, NHS began administering new housing rehabilitation programs, which helped home owners abate code violations and health and safety hazards in their home.

NHS was recognized in 1996 by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation for the successful implementation of “Operation Facelift”, a façade improvement program. NHS has been recognized nationally by NeighborWorks America as a top producer of first-time home owners. In 2002, NHS became an accredited HomeOwnership Center through NeighborWorks America. In 2004, NHS received the Allentown Human Relations Commission Award for assisting over 1,100 families in the Lehigh Valley in purchasing homes.

These achievements were accomplished through a true grassroots effort put forth by residents, business and government partners, Board members, and NHS staff. This grassroots effort has improved the quality of life of thousands of low and moderate income residents of the Lehigh Valley since 1981.