August 2016 Newsletter

From the CEO

Housing affordability must be a local commitment, not a mandate from elsewhere

Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance

If nothing else, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s bill to streamline the approval process for affordable housing has helped raise awareness of the need for bold action. But the housing crisis is not one the state or federal government can solve – not on their own. The heaviest lifting needs to be done at the local level – with planning departments and city councils that understand the importance of housing to the economic viability and quality of life of their communities. Our industry can play an invaluable role, too, through the quality of our work and our commitment to transforming lives and the neighborhoods where we reside. Just as local governments need to support the need for housing affordability, we need to support them by creating added value in every community we serve. This October, the Southern California Association of Governments will host a statewide summit, entitled “The Cost of Not Housing.” It’s a phrase we’ve often used at National CORE to describe the housing affordability crisis and the need for a collaborative solution at the local level. Time now to put those words into action.

National CORE’s ‘Doing Our Part’ program receives Water Conservation of the Year Award

Water Conservation Award

National CORE was honored with the Water Conservation of the Year Award during the San Bernardino County Water Conference for an ambitious program to limit water usage at its Southern California properties. The “Doing Our Part” initiative combines resident education with physical improvements and upgrades such as turf removal and installation of high-efficiency water fixtures. The award ceremony, part of the 10th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference on August 12 at the Ontario Convention Center, recognized individuals or businesses that have made unique efforts to conserve water on a large scale. “Ensuring a reliable water supply is a priority for the Building Industry Association and recognizing the efforts of those who conserve water is an important part of the San Bernardino County Water Conference,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of the BIA Baldy View Chapter. “The dedication of National CORE to conservation is admirable; we are honored to present them with this award.” National CORE launched “Doing Our Part” in 2015 amid one of the worst droughts in California history. Since then, more than 48 million gallons of water have been saved. For more information on National CORE’s water conservation efforts, please visit:

Speaking of conservation…

Valencia Vista

All National CORE properties will soon be equipped with Wi-Fi controlled thermostats, allowing our team to remotely adjust the temperature of common areas and offices when they are not in use. To date, we have already seen a 30 percent savings in our cooling and heating costs.

Wells Fargo awards $50,000 grant to Hope through Housing for afterschool programs

Valencia Vista

Hope through Housing Foundation has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support afterschool programming that creates a safe haven for low-income students between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. Hope through Housing, which provides life-changing human services to individuals and families in partnership with National CORE and some of the nation’s most respected service providers, has made afterschool care one of its top program priorities. Nationwide, more than 14 million students leave school every afternoon with nowhere to go, according to the Afterschool Alliance. Research has shown that this leads to increases in juvenile crime, drug use and teen pregnancy, as well as reduced academic performance. “We’re very grateful for the ongoing support of Wells Fargo and their commitment to Hope through Housing’s afterschool program, which gives thousands of young people opportunities they never would have had otherwise,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation. “This kind of philanthropic support is essential to transforming lives and communities, which is what the Hope through Housing Foundation is all about.”

Sandra Espadas named Senior Director of Community Development for Hope through Housing Foundation

Valencia Vista

Sandra Espadas, former Regional Director for the Institute for Public Strategies in San Bernardino County, has been hired as Senior Director of Community Development for Hope through Housing, focusing on the revitalization efforts taking place at Arrowhead Grove.

Espadas spent nine years at the Institute, overseeing multiple projects aimed at improving the quality of life for residents in Victorville, Barstow, Redlands and San Bernardino. During that time, she implemented evidence-based strategies to address substance abuse and crime, secured more than $2 million in grant funding, and worked with community stakeholders and partners to develop neighborhood revitalization plans.

Her responsibilities at Hope through Housing will include building community support and investment for Arrowhead Grove. Arrowhead Grove is a transformational master-planned community in San Bernardino. Formerly known as Waterman Gardens, Arrowhead Grove will consist of 411 new housing units, recreational amenities, upgraded infrastructure and an Education Village.

“We’re excited to have Sandra join our leadership team and lead our efforts at Arrowhead Grove,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President for Hope through Housing. “Her work with the Institute for Public Strategies is very much in line with our mission of transforming lives and communities. There’s no better example of that than the work being done at Arrowhead Grove.”

A Life Transformed at Arrowhead Grove: ‘If it wasn’t for this, I’d be back on the streets’

Valencia Vista

Nichole Callian and her children had nowhere to go after her grandfather died. Without an extended family to turn to, they lived on the streets until an affordable apartment became available at Arrowhead Grove in San Bernardino. Today, she raises her daughter and two sons – one of whom is autistic – while studying to become a certified preschool teacher. The state provides financial support for parents who serve as full-time caregivers to autistic children – something she feels “extremely grateful for.” “If it wasn’t for that, I’d be back on the streets,” she says of a life she never wants her children to experience again. “I want them to be safe. I want them to have opportunities.”

Their home at Arrowhead Grove – formerly Waterman Gardens – is an important part of that equation. While her family might be among the early move-ins at Valencia Vista – the development’s initial off-site phase – Nichole is happy either way. “Honestly, I’m the type of person who is thankful for what I have,” she says. “To be able to be here and take care of my children, that’s what matters.” So, too, does giving back to the community. Nichole coaches her sons’ Little League teams, volunteers at church and is an apprentice at the Arrowhead Grove preschool. “Helping kids is so important. Too many of them don’t have voices,” she says.

Save the Date

Upcoming events for National CORE and Hope through Housing. For more information, please contact Christy Schroeder at or call (909) 204-3423.

National Community Renaissance presents
“An Evening of Hope”
November 10, 2016

Affordable Housing in the News

Where the affordable housing is (and is not)
National Mortgage Professional Magazine

News and Notes

Around National CORE

Rancho Verde

Rancho Verde
Water conservation barbecue at Rancho Verde (Rancho Cucamonga)

FOLLOW US: fb   linkedin twitter instagram
Join our Mailing List »