Through Collective Impact Model, ‘40s-Era Public Housing Transformed into 184 State-of-the-Art Homes, Bringing New Investment to Surrounding Neighborhood and City
San Bernardino, Calif. – National Community Renaissance (National CORE) and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) proudly hosted the opening celebration for Crestview Terrace, a new affordable housing community that provides 184 affordable and market-rate apartments at a former public housing site in the heart of San Bernardino. Leveraging public and private funding and years of on-the-ground community engagement, numerous partners have collaborated to create a transformational affordable development, part of the more than 300-unit Arrowhead Grove community and a citywide reinvestment initiative called Uplift San Bernardino.
“This is the latest milestone for an ambitious effort that has brought positive change to a core area of the city,” said HACSB Executive Director Maria Razo. “Today we are celebrating the new homes, and new hope, Crestview Terrace has offered to nearly 200 families. The redevelopment of this community will help ensure that much-needed affordable housing continues to be available to San Bernardino families into the future, and creates new and lasting opportunities for economic development.”
The opening of Crestview Terrace follows decades of ongoing research, community engagement, and collaborative planning that has identified the high need in San Bernardino for reinvestment – and the huge potential for success that the city’s young population possesses. Through a decades-long partnership with the San Bernardino City Unified School District, local hospital systems, nonprofits, mission-oriented lenders, and community members, Crestview Terrace has become a catalyst for future development in San Bernardino. Through Uplift San Bernardino, millions of dollars from national foundations have helped establish a $1.5 million revolving fund for future housing in the City.
“We’re so proud to be collaborating with the Housing Authority and many other partners on this long-term vision, combining our resources for the good of the community,” said National CORE President and CEO Steve PonTell. “Crestview Terrace has become a true representation of National CORE’s mission and what we try to do. We go further than simply developing housing and invest in the communities we are a part of.”
The positive impacts of the two previous Arrowhead Grove development phases, Valencia Vista and Olive Meadow, are already starting to materialize; Crestview Terrace is the first phase to offer market-rate units, and these homes, representing about 19% of the community, were among the first to lease up. According to PonTell, the developers would never have expected such high demand for market-rate units at the former public housing site when the Housing Authority and National CORE first began working together.
One of Crestview Terrace’s many key partnerships was the one forged with local hospital systems, including CommonSpirit/Dignity Health. National CORE has been a leader in the conversation around the connections between housing and health, seeking to spread the word that housing can significantly reduce healthcare costs. A long-term partner in Uplift San Bernardino and a fund-matcher for the revolving housing fund, CommonSpirit/Dignity Health, and its local affiliates St. Bernardine Medical Center and Community Hospital of San Bernardino, also chose to invest in Crestview Terrace, recognizing its high potential to improve health in the neighborhood and city.
“CommonSpirit Health [parent company to Dignity Health] is proud to partner with National CORE and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino in the development of Crestview Terrace. We know that people with unmet housing needs are more socio-economically disadvantaged, experience poor health and are more likely to have serious chronic illnesses,” said Doug Kleam, Hospital President, St. Bernardine Medical Center. “Quality affordable housing can reduce stress as well as chronic and infectious disease, which leads to improvement in both physical and mental health. This project will not only bring much needed high-quality affordable housing, it will also revitalize the neighborhood and help improve the health and quality of life for families in the surrounding community.”
Crestview Terrace’s sustainability will also contribute to a healthier San Bernardino. A LEED certified, carbon-neutral, and all-electric community, Crestview Terrace utilizes an onsite system of photovoltaic solar panels to offset one-third of the site’s total energy. The community attracted partial funding through an Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant from the California Strategic Growth Council, the first grant of its kind in the Inland Empire.
“Crestview Terrace provides a wonderful example of the sustainable development that can be achieved through public-private partnerships,” said California Strategic Growth Council Executive Director Lynn von Koch-Liebert. “This community is transit-oriented, improving local air quality, and highly energy-efficient. We have also been able to provide a number of important public improvements that benefit the neighborhood and further incentivize low-emissions transportation.”
In order to incentivize healthy lifestyles and decrease reliance on automobiles, the AHSC funding has provided a bike for each Crestview Terrace unit, bus passes for 5 years for residents, and new bus shelters. The state-level funding has initiated a ripple effect of reinvestment beyond Arrowhead Grove’s 38-acre plot – in the surrounding neighborhood, the grant has funded a number of public improvements, including neighborhood greening, new sidewalks and ADA-accessible curb ramps, high visibility crosswalks, lighting fixture additions, traffic-calming measures, new bus shelters, and school zone signs. The measures have created safer routes to school for children.
“National CORE has gone above and beyond the traditional developer and has really been committed to San Bernardino,” said San Bernardino First Ward Council member Theodore Sanchez. “This is a wonderful collaboration between a community-oriented housing authority and a caring developer. Crestview Terrace provides more than just affordable housing – it prioritizes public safety, the health of our families, and quality of life for its residents.”
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About Crestview Terrace
Crestview Terrace is the third phase of Arrowhead Grove, a successful public-private collaboration that has reimagined the outdated 1940s-era former public housing site of Waterman Gardens, which offered 242 units on 38 acres of land. Upon completion of the RAD housing conversion, the transformed neighborhood will offer 321 beautiful and affordable apartment homes. Importantly, Crestview Terrace is the first phase of Arrowhead Grove to offer market-rate units.
About National Community Renaissance (National CORE)
National CORE is one of the nation’s premier affordable housing developers, building award-winning communities and creating a platform for individual and community change. National CORE creates strong, healthy communities where residents can thrive. In partnership with the Hope through Housing Foundation, National CORE provides impactful resident programs and services to help children and teens achieve success, improve families’ financial well-being, and promote senior health and wellness. For more information on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
About Hope through Housing
Hope through Housing believes that affordable housing can be a platform for transformational change at the individual and neighborhood level. For more than 20 years, the Hope through Housing Foundation has provided more than 2 million hours of transformational social services helping children and teens achieve success, improving families’ financial well-being, and promoting seniors’ health and wellness. For more information on Hope through Housing, please visit www.hthf.org.
About the California Strategic Growth Council
With a guiding vision—healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all—the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), a State government, cabinet-level body, coordinates and works collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians with a focus on the state’s most disadvantaged communities. SGC implements its mission through four key activities: making investments in infrastructure and conservation programs; conducting outreach and providing technical assistance to support of communities seeking to access these investments and leading and supporting integrated policy initiatives that align with SGC’s mission. Learn more at www.sgc.ca.gov.