USBC is a non-profit community development corporation founded in 1986 to revitalize historic neighborhoods in Albuquerque. We seek to increase the availability of safe, decent and affordable housing for low and moderate income home buyers. With the mortgage meltdown of 2007-8 we expanded statewide to offer free legal help and housing counseling to New Mexico homeowners facing unfair and unnecessary foreclosures.
We believe that communities prosper when residents recognize and take ownership of problems and opportunities and come together to generate solutions. We support these grassroots efforts by direct advocacy in six key areas: fair housing, fair lending, crime prevention, financial literacy, locally-based commercial development, and opportunties for youth.
In the early 1990s, USBC joined the South Broadway Neighborhood Association(SBNA) in conducting a successful community-based campaign to rid the area of entrenched drug traffickers. In recognition, SBNA received the national Neighborhood of the Year Award in 1994. We participated in the Back to Broadway infill housing project, an alternative to sprawl development. First time homebuyers had a chance to buy attractive and affordable housing in the historic South Broadway neighborhood of Albuquerque, close to downtown. We valued our participation in the Residential Facade Improvement Program & Good Neighbors/Good Fences program that helped area businesses and residents refurbish street-front properties. The project enhanced local streetscapes, brought in new business, and increased the desirability of the neighborhoods south and east of downtown. USBC also administered the MainStreet Program, a commercial program offering rehabilitation and restoration of commercial buildings in three of Albuquerque’s commercial corridors: Fourth Street in the Barelas neighborhood, Broadway Boulevard in the South Broadway neighborhood, and Central Avenue in the Huning Highland neighborhood. USBC launched the Albuquerque Community School Project in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Community Partnerships. As a result, USBC founded the Dorn Charter Community School, which combines structured teaching and hands on activities to inspire each child’s natural intellectual curiosity. USBC formed the Bosque Youth Conservation Corps as part of the statewide Youth Conservation Corps program. This program serves youth between the ages of fourteen and twenty one. It provides hands on training to teach the importance of the community's connection to forestry, and it supports young participants in furthering their education. USBC initiated the Home Loan Protection Act and the Loan Origination Licensing Act in response to New Mexico's vulnerability to predatory loans and subprime lending practices. This type of grassroots advocacy has set USBC apart from other HUD-certified organizations. Currently, USBC is focused on Foreclosure Prevention, in response to the devastation of New Mexico's communities caused by the housing market crash of the mid-2000s. USBC founded the Fair Lending Center to help homeowners navigate the foreclosure court process, and built up its HUD-certified counseling staff to assist homeowners seeking loan modifications to save their homes after a catastrophic financial shock such as job loss, high medical bills and divorce.