Partnership With Church Provides Surplus Land for Much-Needed Affordable Housing
Riverside, Calif. – National CORE and its development partners celebrated breaking ground on Vista de La Sierra, a beautiful new apartment community that will soon offer 79 much-needed affordable homes and a manager unit in the La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside. The high-quality, sustainable apartments will be built on underutilized church land made available through a ground lease by the Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“Providing support for our neighbors is an important part of our values as a church,” said Stephen V. Mayer, Treasurer and CFO of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Vista de La Sierra will do exactly that, creating new hope for families and strengthening our community through affordable housing.”
The 79 apartment homes will be reserved for families earning under 60% of the area median income (AMI), and thirty-nine of the homes will serve as permanent supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
“The County of Riverside is excited to offer rental subsidies to help Riverside residents find their new home at Vista de La Sierra,” said Heidi Marshall, Director of Housing and Workforce Solutions for the County of Riverside. “This is an important milestone in our efforts to offer residents relief from the ongoing housing crisis.”
National CORE focused on building a sustainable community that conserves natural resources and reduces local carbon emissions. Vista de La Sierra will be zero net energy, generating 100% of its energy needs onsite through 257 kilowatts of rooftop solar panels. The building will exceed California’s Title 24 building energy efficiency standards and is expected to achieve LEED for Homes Gold certification. Solar energy will power not only all 80 apartments, but also the onsite community room, lighting fixtures, high efficiency heat pump water heaters for each unit, and washers and dryers. The energy-efficient design will significantly lower the price of residents’ energy bills, while drought tolerant landscaping and water-conserving plumbing will further conserve electricity and water.
“It has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with our partners to build affordable, sustainable housing in Riverside,” said Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson. “As a city that has continued to use innovative measures to protect our environment, it was a pleasure to work with National CORE, who went above and beyond to make Vista de La Sierra as sustainable as possible.”
The Hope through Housing Foundation will provide onsite programs and services, providing residents with the resources and support they need to thrive. Meanwhile, Mercy House will provide comprehensive supportive services for residents who were previously unhoused, focusing on economic mobility and overall well-being.
“We are thrilled that we will soon be helping formerly-unhoused families transition to living in this beautiful affordable housing community,” said Mercy House CEO Larry Haynes. “We are proud to celebrate this milestone in our work to end homelessness.”
No Place Like Home funding for the 39 units of permanent supportive housing will be provided by the California Department of Housing and Community of Development (HCD) and coordinated through the Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health department. In addition, RUHS-Behavioral Health will provide a variety of resources, including case management, peer support services, mental health care, and substance use support.
“Using a model of engaging and retaining homeless individuals in housing, the apartment communities will have access to supportive services that will include behavioral health and substance use services,” said Dr. Matthew Chang, Director of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health. “With nearly half of these apartments reserved for unhoused individuals and families, Vista de La Sierra will help create a healthier Riverside.”
The housing development’s amenities include a multipurpose community room and stunning courtyards with a playground, barbeque patio, activity lawn, and more.
“These high-quality homes will be a wonderful addition to our city’s stock of affordable housing options,” said Michelle Davis, Housing Manager for the City of Riverside. “We’re excited to soon see the positive impact of these apartments on residents and the larger community.”
The apartments feature Spanish contemporary architecture that complements the surrounding neighborhood – the same neighborhood where National CORE recently opened its first community of for-sale, affordable single-family homes, Collett Crossings.
“To solve the housing crisis, we need to build homes at all levels of affordability, from housing that helps folks transition out of homelessness to for-sale homes that are within reach for working Americans,” said National CORE President and CEO Steve PonTell. “Like all of our affordable rental housing, Vista de La Sierra will serve as a launching pad so that residents can build their finances and ultimately achieve the American Dream of homeownership.”
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About Mercy House
Mercy House provides housing and comprehensive supportive services for a variety of homeless populations. Our Goal is Simple: To end the cycle of homelessness of those who enter our system of care. For more information on Mercy House, please visit www.mercyhouse.net.
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 the 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.