Newly Opened Vista Verde Housing Community Represents a Piece of the City’s Downtown Renaissance
ONTARIO, Calif. (June 17, 2021) – National CORE, the City of Ontario and the California Strategic Growth Council on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of Vista Verde, the first all-electric, zero net energy affordable housing community in the City. This transit-oriented community is funded in part by the State of California’s Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program and is part of the City’s plan to revitalize its historic downtown, providing 101 high-quality apartment homes for families who earn between 30-60% of the area median income.
Located directly on the 76-stop, 20-mile-long Omnitrans 61-bus line, Vista Verde’s highly energy-efficient design perfectly aligns with the State of California and the City of Ontario’s longstanding vision for a more sustainable, public transit-oriented future. The affordable housing community is part of Ontario Together, the City’s sustainability-focused transformation of its downtown core, which is funded in part by a $35 million TCC grant from the California Strategic Growth Council. The grant seeks to encourage local residents to use public transit more frequently and to incentivize developers to build sustainably, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution and making communities healthier and more prosperous.
“We are thrilled for the 101 families who now call Vista Verde home,” said Jessica Buendia, Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council, which administers the TCC Program. “In a prime location, Vista Verde addresses climate change and advances equity by providing low-cost renewable energy and access to affordable transit and active transportation options. Congratulations to National CORE and the City for bringing to life this central component of Ontario Together’s transformative, community-driven vision.”
With 380-kilowatt solar panels providing Vista Verde’s energy, the development is both all-electric and zero net energy, meaning that it produces more energy than it uses. This cost-contained, high-performance design is estimated to reduce residents’ utility bills to between $10 and $20 each month as well as reducing community-wide operational costs, allowing National CORE to reinvest savings into the community.
“None of this would be possible without the collective commitment of the City and every stakeholder, funder, and agency that has dedicated itself to turning this dream into reality. We’re proud to be part of this effort,” PonTell said. Vista Verde would not have been possible without key financial partners including BBVA USA, Bank of the West, Hudson Housing, the City of Ontario, and the California Strategic Growth Council. Because Vista Verde is located in an opportunity zone, Bank of the West was able to structure its contribution as a qualified opportunity zone investment.
“We are proud to have played a part in the creation of Vista Verde, knowing that the community will be central to Ontario’s efforts to provide more affordable housing and ignite the downtown economy,” said John Chan, Director of Community Development Capital for BBVA USA, now part of PNC. “The efforts of BBVA in providing financing for this project align perfectly now that the bank is part of PNC. Our shared commitment to the communities we serve and meaningful change for those who need it most are underscored by this development. We couldn’t be more excited to see this long-awaited project open and be a witness to its deep and lasting impact.”
Vista Verde’s convenient location in a central, bike- and pedestrian-friendly area that is close to public transit not only reduces the City’s carbon footprint, but also gives residents access to parks, schools, and employment opportunities within walking distance of their home. Location is an important part of upward mobility, and so is having a supportive network. National CORE’s services provider, Hope through Housing, will provide programming, coaching, and access to resources that support youth in their academic and career aspirations and support adults in reaching their financial and personal goals.
“We are very excited to welcome the new residents of Vista Verde Apartments to Ontario,” said Mayor Paul S. Leon. “This development is consistent with our City Council’s goal to focus resources in Ontario’s commercial and residential neighborhoods and is a crucial component in our efforts to provide attainable and beautiful homes to our residents. A special thank you to the California Strategic Growth Council and National CORE for this major accomplishment.”
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About National Community Renaissance (National CORE)
National Community Renaissance, based in Southern California, 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, Texas, and Florida. National CORE’s strength is in its ability to offer partners an array of in-house capabilities that navigates the complexities of planning, developing, building, managing, and providing supportive services. For more information on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
About Hope through Housing Foundation
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’s Support for Vista Verde
Vista Verde is supported by California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program with funds from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.