The community's name is an acronym for National Association of Letter Carriers Retirement, Education, Security and Training, as it was designed by and continues to be operated by the Nalcrest Foundation, Inc., a branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, the union representing United States Postal Service city letter carriers. It was the brainchild of William Doherty, the first United States Ambassador to Jamaica and NALC President from 1941–1962.
Construction began on the community in July 1962 and the community opened in 1963. Initially, due to HUD regulations, residency was open to both NALC members and others, but when the mortgage was paid in 2002, the HUD restrictions were removed and residency is now limited to NALC retirees in good standing only.
The community consists of 253 acres (1.0 km2), 153 acres (0.6 km2) of which are developed into 500 garden-style apartments. The remaining 100 acres (0.4 km2) are undeveloped and includes Lake Weohyakapka, a lake of 15 acres around which the community is developed.
The apartments are a mix of efficiency and one-bedroom units, and all are on ground level. Units are leased on an annual basis and the rental rate includes water, sewer, trash removal, basic cable TV, interior/exterior maintenance, and use of the community's recreational facilities (but not electricity). Pets are not permitted. In addition to being NALC retirees in good standing, tenants must also be able to care for themselves and for housekeeping chores, as the community is not an assisted living facility and does not have an on-site physician.Prospective tenants must pay the first month's rent and a security deposit. Previously, the only form of payment accepted was a Postal money order, but now checks and all types of money orders are accepted.
Among the most interesting features of the community is that, despite being a retirement community for postal letter carriers, there is no home mail delivery – residents must pick up their mail at the post office in the Town Center.