COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION OF SOUTHERN BROOKLYN
The Community Organization, or COSB was founded in 1996 as a local community org. focused on neighborhood preservation, community development and stabilization. Over the years, COSB has proven to be a veritable savior to the community. Through its housing-related services, COSB has made an extraordinary contribution to the growth and stability of its targeted communities. With time, COSB expanded the scope of services being provided to offer Mortgage Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention Programs.
At its inception, COSB created a Housing Registry whose function it is, to assist clients of low and moderate-income in finding decent, sanitary and affordable rental housing. Staff maintains ongoing contact with landlords enabling them to match clients with landlords. Additionally, the agency provides tenant/landlord mediation to help resolve disputes between tenants and landlords, and assist in arriving at an amicable settlement. COSB has counseled over 3300 clients of low and moderate income. Of these, over 1000 families, most of them first-time homebuyers, obtained mortgages and achieved homeownership. It should be noted that, as a result of the comprehensive nature of the counseling curriculum, not a single client has defaulted!
In the last year, COSB has provided one-on-one counseling to nearly 100 families. Of the clients counseled, 50 were approved by banks for mortgages on their homes. In 2011, COSB assisted 26 clients in receiving grants from the New York City Department of HPD HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance program. Clients received homeownership totaling over $600,000 through COSB’s counseling and assistance.
COSB received a grant from the Center for New York City Neighborhoods in support of its foreclosure counseling program. Under this contract, COSB assists a monthly average of 10 clients, who are in default of their mortgage payments. Subsequently, COSB received a grant from the NYS DHCR, for Foreclosure Prevention Services.
COSB has adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling, and has been approved as such by NISHEC. These standards assure that clients receive consistent service and professional excellence.
Housing and Foreclosure Counseling Client Satisfaction
COSB Foreclosure Prevention clients are often given temporary loan modifications. Clients are advised to keep COSB counselors abreast as to the status of their temporary modification and if they are experiencing any difficulties. Clients often fail to keep counselors in the loop, so COSB staff contacts clients by phone within a few weeks of temporary modification to ascertain whether all temporary payments were made – and a permanent modification obtained.
In addition, COSB counselors will contact financial institution, if necessary, to ensure that all obligations of the temporary modification have been met, and that a permanent modification has been offered.
COSB Home Ownership clients are offered follow-up counseling sessions to ensure that they can maintain their payments as per their financial obligation. In the event of difficulties, COSB counselors may contact financial institution to examine any alternate options available for client. Clients are encouraged to maintain contact with counselors periodically.
COSB offices are located on street level and are fully ADA compliant. Doors, waiting areas, offices and are bathroom are all handicapped accessible to provide convenient access for disabled and elderly clients.
COSB offices are located on street level and are fully ADA compliant. Doors, waiting areas, offices are bathroom are all handicapped accessible to provide convenient access for disabled and elderly clients.
COSB has been the primary housing development and services provider in the area for over 30 years. This area has an extremely ethnically diverse population. As such, its staff is intricately familiar with the community and its needs. COSB staff is fluent in several languages and interpreters are available for clients speaking several additional languages. Given the reputation and experience in working with the cultural and language barriers within its community, COSB is the natural place for residents from many diverse ethnic backgrounds to turn for assistance.
Community Organization of Southern Brooklyn, Inc. (COSB) was created in 1996 as a community-based organization dedicated to neighborhood stabilization and community revitalization. Through the housing related services it offers, and its development of affordable housing in partnership with HUD, Southern Brooklyn has made an extraordinary contribution to the growth and stability of its targeted communities, and increased the housing opportunities for low and moderate income families. At its inception, COSB instituted its Housing Registry whose function it is, to assist clients of low and moderate income in finding decent, sanitary and affordable rental housing. This is accomplished by the staff maintaining ongoing contact with landlords in the neighborhood and compiling a current list of apartments available, enabling them to match clients with landlords. Additionally, the agency provides tenant/landlord mediation to help resolve disputes between tenants and landlords, and assist in arriving at an amicable settlement. Finally, the agency assists homeowners in obtaining below-market interest rate Home Improvement Loans and Home Energy Savings Grants.
To date, COSB offers Housing Counseling Services in the form of Rental One-On-One counseling, Pre-Purchase / Homebuying Counseling and Mortgage Delinquency / Default Counseling.
COSB has recently expanded its services to offer a multi-level Financial Literacy Education Program, to help educate members of the community at all stages in life. Program to include an elementary school program, a young adults program geared to the preparation for marriage and setting up a financially sustainable home, financial stress crises management and senior financial independence.