June 2017 Newsletter

From the CEO

Community of the Future

Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. As policy. As a bold new product or service. As a creative solution to a deepening problem. What they have in common is leadership – and an environment in which risk-taking is encouraged and where failure leads to success. Think Steve Jobs and Apple. Bill Gates and Microsoft. Elon Musk and Tesla. Their commitment, as leaders, was to create new things that make life better. So what about innovation at the community level? What can we do as stakeholders to bring creative solutions to the table and encourage others to follow the advice of Peter Drucker, who once said “the best way to predict the future is to create it?” One thought would be to create an “Office of the Future,” leveraging incumbent institutions, distilling knowledge from data, and translating opportunities into implementation. Although there is a broad array of challenges we could address with this kind of approach, housing certainly ranks near the top – through creative approaches to land use, density, energy and water efficiency and more. What innovative solutions await us with regard to financing, senior housing, homelessness and shifting demographics? Many of us feel we’ve done a lot in this arena, and we have. But there is so much more ahead of us. The future has arrived. Let’s embrace it.

San Bernardino ‘Build Strong’

Build Strong San Bernardino

Build Strong San Bernardino

National CORE is playing a major role in the revitalization of San Bernardino, and on June 6 brought together experts and stakeholders to encourage additional investment in the city. The “San Bernardino Build Strong Developer Forum” featured presentations from noted Southern California economist Dr. Chris Thornberg, Joe Cesta of CBRE, Brad Umansky with Progressive Real Estate Partners and Stephen Casey with CoStar Group – as well as updates on National CORE’s Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood Revitalization effort and the Waterman+Baseline Specific Plan. Arrowhead Grove and the specific plan recently were honored by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for its transformational impact in the face of daunting odds.

A Life Transformed: ‘I got my independence back’

Zack Collie

Zack Collie

Zack Collie lost his independence when he was 15, the victim of a diving accident that left him paralyzed and reliant on others to perform such simple tasks as brushing his teeth.

Now 22, he is getting that independence back – in college, with a career he is building toward and, now, an apartment to call his own. “Just having a place that’s mine … it’s very, very satisfying,” Zack says from his one-bedroom apartment at the newly opened Oakcrest Terrace community in the Savi Ranch neighborhood of Yorba Linda. “Before the accident, I was very independent, and then, in an instant, I depended on others for everything. Because of the affordable program at Oakcrest Terrace, I am able to live on my own and not rely so much on my parents. It’s an amazing feeling.” Zack’s determined pursuit of self-sufficiency illustrates why communities such as Oakcrest Terrace are so badly needed, said Steve PonTell, President and CEO of National CORE. “Self-reliance and independence go hand in hand with having a home you can be proud of and can afford,” PonTell said. “For our residents, moving from dependency to self-sufficiency is extremely important, and something we’re committed to helping our residents achieve.”


A Grateful Resident: In Her Own Words

Oakcrest Terrace

Oakcrest Terrace

When Sarah Jones lost her job and any chance at child support in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States, the mother of four had a difficult decision to make: remove her kids from the community and schools they’d grown up in, or spend hours a day in traffic commuting back and forth.

She chose the latter, never giving up in her pursuit to find affordable housing in Orange County. “I searched for months, did my homework, and I couldn’t find anything,” Sarah says. “Everyone knows how hard I’ve been trying to get back here, but Orange County and Southern California are very, very expensive.”

Read more about Sarah’s story

In Memory of Byron Ely

t is with great sadness that our National CORE family says good-bye to one of our own, Byron Ely. Byron joined National CORE in 2006 to oversee our construction division. During his tenure, he transformed the construction division into a highly functioning general contractor that was capable of building beautiful low-rise and mid-rise structures with both on grade and below grade parking structures. Byron also helped to design and build a cutting-edge, three-story, modular community. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of loss.

National CORE, Hope through Housing and Affordable Housing in the News

“Southern California can’t match nation’s new housing pace”
(The Orange County Register)

“‘Housing crisis’ tops California’s legislative agenda this year”
(San Jose Mercury News)

“California lawmakers have tried for 50 years to fix the state’s housing crisis. Here’s why they’ve failed”
(Los Angeles Times)

News & Notes
Around National CORE

Our incredible maintenance team receives HVAC certification after receiving extensive training that will allow them to provide quicker and better customer service to residents and reduce overall operating costs. 


Mother’s Day at some of our communities

Cape Cod Senior Villas, Oceanside, CA


Juniper Senior Village, Escondido, CA


The Oaks on Florence, Bell, CA


Members of the National CORE team and residents of our four senior properties in Fontana, California, were proud to honor elected officials who have supported our efforts over the years.

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