February 2016 Newsletter

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From the CEO

When renters can’t move up, or out…

Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance

Add Fannie Mae to the growing list of stakeholders warning of a housing affordability crisis. In its newly released forecast for 2016, the mortgage-market giant said increases in home prices and rental rates will outpace household income growth, forcing individuals and families to spend a greater portion of their earnings on shelter and keeping renters from becoming buyers.

We’ve heard it before – we’ve said it before – but until and unless we get serious about housing as a policy priority, the implications will be far reaching. America was built on the promise of a better future – that if you worked hard, opportunity would follow.

As the Fannie Mae report underscores, renters are less able than ever to save for a down payment on that first home, which further ties up the rental market. Compounding all of this are growth control policies explicitly aimed at limiting housing growth, particularly in the multifamily category.

While the problem is most acute in states such as California – where rental rates are 50 percent above the national average – the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and others have argued for years that zoning and building restrictions are pushing housing costs out of the reach of middle America.

As an industry, we need to do a better job of beating this drum and engaging like minds around the need for policies that promote quality housing. On March 10 in Riverside, we’ll be co-hosting a forum entitled “The Cost of Not Housing” (see below for details).

We hope you can join us.

“The Cost of Not Housing”…

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Additional sponsorships are available for National CORE’s 2016 Symposium on the Affordability of Housing: “The Cost of Not Housing.” For information, please contact Christy Schroeder, Events Manager at National CORE, at (909) 204-3423, or email: cschroeder@nationalcore.org.

Hope through Housing: Transforming lives…

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Over the months, we’ve presented stories of lives transformed by the work of our Hope through Housing Foundation. Many of these individuals and families had nowhere else to turn, but because of the life-changing services provided by Hope and its partners, are getting the resources they need to live better lives and give back to their communities.

One of the areas we take particular pride in is our youth services. Nationwide, more than 14 million students leave school every afternoon and have nowhere to go, increasing the likelihood of dropping out, drug use or pregnancy. Our after school programs fill that gap. At our Impressions at Valley Center property in Victorville, 58 of 86 school-age children attend the afterschool program – a remarkable ratio in a community where 23 percent of adults don’t have a high school diploma and one in four live in poverty.

These kinds of programs are helping to bridge that gap. We need your support. Please click here to make a donation to the Hope through Housing Foundation.

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Please save the date for the 2016 Hope through Housing Gala, November 10 at the Sheraton Fairplex. Keep checking our newsletter for additional information.

Being the best we can be…

Training is key to professional development and, as an organization, remaining at the top of our game.

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In February, our Property Management, Development and Compliance staff participated in a four-hour training session with HUD Relocation Specialist W. Jay Smith on relocation laws and best practices.

February also saw the launch of National CORE University (NCU), an ongoing training program for our maintenance and building staffs. Led by Joe Garcia, Resident Services Technician Supervisor and Trainer, NCU offers hands-on training on maintenance and installation functions.

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NCU features three to seven technicians per class. Garcia and his team have set up a working kitchen, bathroom and electrical panel to simulate actual issues that could occur in a rental unit.

“If a project that took a half-hour before now takes 15 minutes, that’s a savings in time and money,” Garcia said. “To have our veterans, who know the tricks of the trade, teach the younger guys is invaluable.”

News and Notes

All in…

At Villaggio on Route 66 (Rancho Cucamonga, CA), residents celebrate after a hearty post-holiday Zumba program.

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