The Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program (NEP) enabled neighborhood-based private property managers to own and manage clusters of occupied and vacant City-owned buildings. By focusing on small, locally-based entrepreneurs, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) rebuilt local real estate capacity in addition to ensuring quality management and maintenance for the buildings. Entrepreneurs applied to participate in the program through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. HPD and the Enterprise Foundation (now known as Enterprise Community Partners) evaluated respondents who have passed minimum threshold requirements. Respondents with relevant experience who met additional selection criteria were chosen to participate in the program.
Buildings selected for NEP were sold to the Neighborhood Partnership Housing Development Fund Corporation (NPHDFC), a subsidiary of the Enterprise Foundation, for $1 each and then were leased to the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs planned and oversaw the rehabilitation and design of the buildings, screened, and recommended general contractors, and obtained – with the assistance of NPHDFC – a private construction loan for the rehabilitation work. The entrepreneur was also partnered with a local non-profit entity that assisted with building stabilization while providing support and training for tenants.