Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Community Renaissance (National CORE), released the following statement after today’s confirmation hearing regarding Dr. Benjamin Carson’s nomination to be Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
“I am impressed that Dr. Carson is open to a more holistic approach to federal housing programs that can help bring families out of poverty and help individuals to reach their full potential. Dr. Carson’s vision of addressing affordable housing is precisely what is needed. This includes taking a fresh look at the old model, working across the federal government’s silos to help bring health care, education, and job training to residents subsidized by HUD programs, and his repeated emphasis on public-private partnerships.
“Dr. Carson plans to go on a listening tour across the country to learn about effective ways that federal programs can create opportunities to lift families out of poverty. I invite him to visit National CORE, which exemplifies the holistic approach he emphasized during the confirmation hearing. We provide not only affordable housing, but critically needed supportive services that are key to transforming lives and entire communities.
“This approach aligns with Dr. Carson’s vision that HUD empower residents to make their way out of poverty, rather than simply provide rental housing subsidies. Dr. Carson made clear that he plans to ‘work across the silos’ between the various federal agencies – to better connect housing, education and health. I believe this can be done through partnerships with qualified non-profits such as ours that provide supportive services as part of their affordable housing mission.
“Dr. Carson also repeatedly embraced private sector involvement during the hearing. A greater focus on public-private partnerships with non-profit affordable housing developers will help stimulate private investment in affordable housing. While National CORE utilizes state and federal funds to help develop and manage projects, it significantly leverages these funds through other sources of private financing. This imposes market discipline that is often lacking with projects that completely rely on federal subsidies – ultimately creating more sustainable projects. Rather than the public-housing-centric model, with limited flexibility and reliance on federal appropriations, more innovative financing tools, market-based management approaches and flexibility in general can help improve the supply of affordable housing and transform communities.
“Dr. Carson’s vision closely reflects how National CORE approaches the delivery of affordable housing and community development, and I look forward to working with him as he transforms federal housing assistance to better mirror this successful model.”
About National CORE
National Community Renaissance, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. Over the past two decades, its social services partner, Hope through Housing Foundation, has provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life, including preschool, after-school, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.