From the CEO
Making HUD Great Again
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
At his recent confirmation hearing to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Dr. Benjamin Carson spoke of a more holistic approach to federal housing programs that can help bring families out of poverty and allow individuals to reach their full potential. His vision – which includes taking a fresh look at the old model and working across the federal government’s silos to help bring health care, education, and job training to residents subsidized by HUD programs – is precisely what is needed. It also is in full alignment with who and what we are at National CORE, providing not only affordable housing, but critically needed supportive services that are key to transforming lives and entire communities. Dr. Carson spoke, too, of a greater focus on public-private partnerships with non-profit affordable housing developers to help stimulate private investment in affordable housing. While National CORE utilizes state and federal funds to help develop and manage projects, we significantly leverage these funds through other sources of private financing. This imposes market discipline that is often lacking with projects that completely rely on federal subsidies – ultimately creating more sustainable projects. Rather than the public-housing-centric model, with limited flexibility and reliance on federal appropriations, more innovative financing tools, market-based management approaches and flexibility in general can help improve the supply of affordable housing and transform communities. All of this is a bold step in the right direction, and we look forward to supporting the new administration’s efforts to make HUD great again.
Grand Opening of Marv’s Place showcases model community for addressing permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless families
Pasadena city officials, community leaders and project partners recently celebrated the Grand Opening of Marv’s Place, the only permanent supportive housing program in the city available to formerly homeless families. Recently honored as Supportive Housing Project of the Year by the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, Marv’s Place features 20 homes and offers onsite supportive services that include case management, career development, money management training and substance abuse assistance. “It is, in every sense, a safe haven, where formerly homeless families find the support they need to be successful and transform their lives,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation and Senior Vice President for National CORE. Marv’s Place represents a significant advancement in addressing the housing affordability crisis that keeps many homeless individuals and families from rebuilding their lives. As the project’s owner and developer, National CORE partnered with Union Station Homeless Services, a nonprofit organization with more than 40 years of experience in providing homeless men, women and children with supportive care. In addition, seven of the 20 units were set aside for families with children ages 5 and under through funding from First 5 LA, which had never before allocated dollars specifically for housing. First 5 LA also awarded Marv’s Place a $200,000 grant over three years for supportive services.
HealthCorps on the Move
The HealthCorps’ Living Labs have been successfully launched in San Bernardino County. Upland High School is the first to have a health coordinator on-site, with San Gorgonio High School in San Bernardino and Big Bear High School soon to follow. HealthCorps, a national nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Oz, places health coordinators in high-need high schools to mentor students, teach health related workshops and promote a variety of during-school and after-school activities. National CORE and the Hope through Housing Foundation have led the way in bringing the program to students in San Bernardino County. To contribute to this effort, please contact Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of Hope through Housing, at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on HealthCorps is available at www.healthcorps.org.
Kendra Gives Back
The Hope through Housing Foundation will be the beneficiary of a unique shopping experience on Saturday, February 4, between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. The Kendra Scott Jewelry Store at Fashion Island in Newport Beach will donate 20 percent of all purchases made during that time to Hope through Housing. Visitors will be treated to sweets and bubbly while shopping. For more information on the event, please contact Ruby Foster at email@example.com.
If you cannot attend the event, but would still like to participate, you can visit Kendra Scott’s website, www.kendrascott.com, download the order form, and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 3 p.m. on February 4.
This Is What It’s About
We love receiving letters like this one, sent from a social worker in California who earlier had reached out for our help in placing an elderly resident in National CORE housing:
“Hello. I wanted to thank you so very much for helping me help Ms. Sophie secure housing. It was a task I found nearly impossible until I was put in contact with you. It’s not every day you run into individuals with the willingness to help. Ms. Sophie has moved and settled into her new apartment just in time for the new year, a location walking distance from a Kaiser [medical facility]. You said, ‘Let’s hope we can make this a happy ending’ when I said ‘It’s a sad story.’ Thank you once again, have a Happy New Year.”
National CORE, Hope through Housing and Affordable Housing in the News
“NJ Supreme Court: Build more affordable housing”
(Asbury Park Press)
“Affordable housing is going up like crazy in NYC”
News & Notes
Around National CORE
National CORE celebrated the holidays with residents and partners:
At Colony of Humble and Countryside in Texas:
Shopping with a cop in Fontana, California:
At Alta Vista in East Los Angeles:
At Little Lake Village in Los Angeles: