From the CEO
Affordable Rental Housing Crisis on the Rise
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
In the face of more troubling news regarding to availability of housing for the poorest of families, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is advancing the idea of public-private partnerships and funding reform as realistic solutions to the problem. “After years of trying to keep up with rising rents, it’s time we take a more holistic look at how government at every level, working with the private market and others, can ease the pressure being felt by too many unassisted renters,” HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson said earlier this month. “Today’s affordable rental housing crisis requires that we take a more business-like approach on how the public sector can reduce the regulatory barriers so the private markets can produce more housing for more families.” Dr. Carson’s comments – which we wholeheartedly endorse – came the same day HUD reported that the number of very poor unsubsidized families struggling to pay their monthly rent and who may also be living in substandard housing continues to increase. In 2015, the agency reported, 8.3 million very low-income unassisted families paid more than half their monthly income on rent. As the report notes, demand for affordable housing is growing faster than the construction of homes working families can afford to rent, especially in high-cost areas of the country. As we’ve said before, unwinding the federal government’s role in the private mortgage market will help encourage private investment and ease the stress on rental markets. And as we’ve been reminded again, the need has never been greater.
National CORE Groundbreaking for Model Homeless and Veteran Housing
The hillside overlooking Cesar Chavez Elementary School in San Diego will be transformed into an affordable rental apartment community for homeless Veterans, non-Veteran homeless households, and low-income residents as a result of a model partnership between National CORE, Townspeople and the San Diego Housing Commission. At the August 3rd groundbreaking for Vista del Puente, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said chronic homelessness isn’t going to be fixed overnight, “but the type of commitment we’re seeing here today…we’re going to make a difference. We’re going to reduce the number of people who are out there.” Close to 75 percent of Vista del Puente’s 51 affordable rental apartments will be set aside for homeless households: 26 units for homeless Veterans and 12 units for non-Veteran homeless San Diegans. In addition, 13 units will be affordable for families earning up to 60 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income (AMI), which is currently $54,540 for a family of four. All of these units will remain affordable for a period of 55 years. Vista del Puente is one of eight projects that were awarded development funding in the first three years of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO (2014-2017), SDHC’s homelessness action plan.
Marv’s Place, Valencia Vista Receive Merit Award from NAHRO
Two National CORE’s communities, Marv’s Place (above) in Pasadena, CA, and Valencia Vista (below) in San Bernardino, CA, have been named Merit Award Winners by the National Association of Housing and Rehabilitation Officials (NAHRO) and have been nominated for the organization’s Award of Excellence. Marv’s Place is the only permanent supportive housing community in Pasadena for formerly homeless families. It previously was honored as Supportive Housing Project of the Year by the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing. Valencia Vista is the initial phase of the highly anticipated Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood Revitalization effort in San Bernardino.
I Am Hope: Patrick Meredith, Courtney Richard
On August 14, National CORE announced its two latest I Am Hope recipients. Patrick Meredith and Courtney Richard were nominated by their peers and recognized for their commitment to our mission and guiding principles. Patrick, a construction manager, truly cares about the families who will one day live in the communities he builds, often giving them a sneak peak of their future home. “Being able to give hope to families who have lived in substandard conditions is one of the reasons why I work at National CORE.” Courtney, a relocation manager, listens and empathizes with families whose lives have been disrupted during construction phases. She works with families to make sure that they are kept informed and she is always available to listen to their concerns. Her caring nature helps create calm during a chaotic time. These are our two most recent I Am Hope recipients. Congratulations Patrick and Courtney!>
Corona Communities Truly Demonstrate COMMUNITY
If you would like to see what “community” is all about, look no further than National CORE’s Corona, CA, properties. Recently, more than 330 residents and community members participated in Family Fun Day at Corona del Rey and Corona de Oro. More than 152 backpacks were given away, and 10 youths received $100 scholarships. Additionally, in April, Corona High School students were invited to Corona de Oro, where they experienced what it takes to rent an apartment. And whenever possible, Hope through Housing service coordinator Blanca Arellano brings fresh produce for our residents and their families. We thank Blanca and our entire Corona team for all you are doing to transform lives and the communities you serve. You make us proud!
25th Anniversary Gala Coming on November 2nd!
National CORE’s 25th Anniversary Gala, An Evening of Hope, Celebrating 25 Years of Transforming Lives and Communities,
will be held Thursday, November 2, at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California. For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Ruby Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the event, please contact Christy Schroeder at email@example.com or visit nationalcoregala.org
National CORE, Hope through Housing and Affordable Housing in the News
News & Notes
Around National CORE
More than 75 residents of Promenade in West Covina, CA took part in National Night Out. A special thank you to police and fire personnel who helped make the event a great success.
With the support of the Hope through Housing Foundation, the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Service, Daniel Painting and Covington Carpet, National CORE also distributed backpacks, school uniforms and supplies to children living at its Stone Ridge and Cedar Ridge communities in Little Rock, AR.
More than 100 children received backpacks at the Alta Vista community in East Los Angeles, CA.
More on HUD’s Report on Worst-Case Housing Needs
The full HUD study referenced above can be found at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/Worst-Case-Housing-Needs.html
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- The number of households with worst case needs have increased by 66 percent since 2001, with historic increases occurring between 2007 and 2011 when the combination of mortgage foreclosures, widespread unemployment, and shrinking renter incomes dramatically expanded severe housing problems.
- While incomes continued to rise between 2013 and 2015, rents also increased nearly as fast. For the poorest renters, however, growth in rental costs outpaced income gains.
- Though the production of rental housing is strong, the rapidly growing renter population is putting increasing pressure on the rental market, particularly on the inventory of affordable rental housing.
- The number of households with worst-case needs increased across all racial and ethnic groups. The prevalence of worst case needs during 2015 was 47 percent for Hispanic renters, 45 percent for non-Hispanic white renters, 37 percent for non-Hispanic black renters, and 41 percent for others.
- Regionally, the South and West were home to most very low-income renters. These renters also had the highest prevalence of worst-case needs and the lowest likelihood of receiving housing assistance. By metropolitan type, worst-case needs were most prevalent in densely populated urban suburbs, followed by central cities.