From the CEO
The Cost of Not Housing
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
What drives a community’s economy and its quality of life? Jobs, certainly. Business expansion. Access to transportation, health care, educational opportunity. At the center of all of this is a commitment to providing quality housing at every income level. This was the theme of our March 10 symposium, “The Cost of Not Housing,” shining a spotlight on a housing crisis that many will argue is the biggest single threat to our economic viability as a nation. Hyperbole? Consider the trillions, yes trillions, of dollars in what would otherwise be disposable income that currently pays for inflated rental and owner-occupied housing costs. It’s money that’s not paid for other goods and services that improve our quality of life and generate tax revenues and fund critical community services and infrastructure needs. And yet, resistance at the community level to new housing – and especially new workforce housing – remains high. Density has become a dirty word. We are creating communities where our children and grandchildren cannot afford to live. I would like to thank our symposium sponsors for helping to shine a light on this critical topic:
- Inland Valleys Association of Realtors
- California Apartment Association – Greater Inland Empire
- Building Industry Association – Baldy View Chapter
- Building Industry Association – Riverside Chapter
- Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino
- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Grand Opening Held for Las Palmas Village Workforce Housing Community
National CORE and the City of San Clemente held a grand opening of the highly anticipated Las Palmas Village Apartments on Tuesday, March 2. Las Palmas provides 18 units of much-needed workforce housing for low-income families in south Orange County. Located near San Clemente’s historic downtown, the community matches the city’s “Spanish Village by the Sea” design style and features an onsite community resource center with computer stations, private underground parking, an outdoor courtyard garden area and private patios and balconies in select units. The community also will feature on-site economic mobility assistance via Hope through Housing. “Las Palmas exemplifies a successful partnership with National Community Renaissance and others,” said Mayor Bob Baker. “When we provide housing options for our local workforce, we promote economic and social benefits and the entire community wins.”
A Life Transformed
Kyril Bojckov doesn’t want a handout. At 27 with three jobs and monthly income of less than $3,000, he pays his bills on time and looks forward to moving up in the world. For now, however, he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to live in high-quality housing for a price he can afford. “People don’t realize it, but a place like this gives young people a chance to do something with their lives,” said Bojckov, an early resident of National CORE’s Las Palmas Village Apartments in San Clemente. “I’m a driven person, and it is a rewarding feeling to know that there is help out there.” At Las Palmas, Bojckov pays $822 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. Before moving in last November, he lived in a ramshackle motel/studio apartment that cost him $850 a month. “It was a 1970 Robert De Niro ‘Taxi Driver’ type place,” he said. “I’m grateful beyond words for what I’ve got now. I don’t have to worry about where I’m living, and can focus on my school and career. I want to make more money. I want to live in Orange County. This is ideal.”
Hope through Housing
By Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo
President, Hope through Housing
Often lost in the discussion about affordable housing is the transformation that occurs in individual lives and entire communities. Well-designed, well-managed workforce housing allows employees to live closer to their jobs, increases adjacent property values and adds to the customer base of local retailers. The value of that, in direct dollars, is often in the millions. Indirectly, the benefits can be exponentially higher, especially when we look at affordable/workforce housing not as an end all, but as a springboard to a life of self-sufficiency and prosperity. The dignity that comes with a home you can be proud of is just the start. The case can be made that well-managed resident services – preschool, after-school, financial literacy training – are every bit as important as bricks and mortar to breaking the stereotypes of affordable housing.
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Save the Date
Upcoming events for National CORE and Hope through Housing. For more information, please contact Christy Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (909) 204-3423.
“An Evening of Hope”
Affordable Housing in the News
“Restrictive zoning chokes economy”
“City eyes way to get low-income housing”
News and Notes
Around National CORE
Warm hearts: At Cape Cod Senior Village (Oceanside, CA), residents celebrated Valentine’s Day in style.