Riverside, Calif. – National CORE’s Vista de La Sierra community provides a refuge in Riverside’s beautiful La Sierra neighborhood for individuals and families struggling for security and stability as housing prices and rents have soared across the region.

Built on land provided by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the development provides 80 beautiful affordable apartments clustered around a lush outdoor recreational area and expansive community center.

Leaders from National CORE, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, City of Riverside, County of Riverside and their partners gathered May 30 to celebrate Vista de La Sierra’s grand opening.

“Vista de La Sierra shows how we can come together with our community to address the affordable housing crisis,” said Michael Ruane, president of National CORE. “We would like to thank the Seventh-day Adventist Church for their commitment to the community.

The new community serves individuals and families who earn between 30% to 60% of the area median income (AMI). Thirty-nine homes serve residents who have experienced homelessness or were at risk of becoming homeless – an increasing concern as housing costs outstrip incomes.

“Vista de La Sierra will provide much needed attainable housing for the city of Riverside,” Mayor Pro Tem and Councilmember Steve Hemenway said. I am grateful to National CORE for their tremendous experience and expertise, and all the partners who helped make this project a reality.”

In Riverside County, the median price for a home is up 34% in two years. A resident would need to earn $161,200 to qualify for a $630,000 home.

Rents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties jumped by 41.4% in the last four years while wage increases rose 23.3%, according to news reports.

“Affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues in our city, region and state – Vista de La Sierra moves Riverside one step closer to being able to provide housing for all,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said.

The partnership marks the first of its kind with the Seventh-day Adventist church, which allowed National CORE to develop in the vibrant La Sierra neighborhood.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is excited to have had a key role in making church assets available to serve the needs of those at risk of being homeless,” said Stephen Mayer, Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists treasurer and chief financial officer. “Christ’s life and ministry is in service to others; this is one small way the Seventh-day Adventist Church can have an impact on the people of Riverside and meet a need with this community. I’ve been personally blessed to see people in a better place because of this collaborative effort!”

Vista de la Sierra residents enjoy a spacious community center to serve as the hub for services and activities, a swimming pool, barbecue, outdoor play area and gathering spaces. The community is also within walking distance of grocery stores, local restaurants, pharmacies and public transportation.

Mercy House and the Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health provide wraparound services such as case management to ensure that residents have all the tools they need to remain healthy and housed.

“With the Vista de La Sierra project, Mercy House is excited to further its relationship with National CORE and Hope through Housing, by creating and supporting much needed affordable housing for families, and supportive housing for homeless and highly vulnerable adults,” Mercy House CEO Larry Haynes said. “Every time we work together something truly special is created. Mercy House looks forward to expanding its impact within the City of Riverside. The City Council and city staff have been fantastic partners, and on a personal note, it feels great to expand Mercy House’s services in my hometown!”

“Vista de La Sierra embraces an innovative approach to engage and support individuals and families experiencing homelessness, offering a range of services including behavioral health and substance use programs,” said Dr. Matthew Chang, director of Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health. “As a proud partner to Vista de La Sierra, RUHS provides these essential services to help remove barriers and significantly enhance the well-being of our Riverside community.”

Hope through Housing Foundation provides additional supportive services – from programs and events focused on employment, social connectedness and health and wellness as well as connections to outside resources to break the cycle of generational poverty.

“Housing is the first step and Hope through Housing is committed to guiding residents through what comes after,” Hope through Housing Vice President Alyssa Cotter said. “Alongside our partners, we seek to cultivate community and connect them with every possible resource they may need.”

In addition, the all-electric development was built in a Spanish contemporary style and designed with the latest in sustainability features, limiting its carbon footprint through extensive use of solar power, high-efficiency appliances, all-electric heat pumps and energy-efficient building envelope. The building’s systems help it approach zero net energy. Vista de La Sierra is anticipated to receive a LEED for Gold certification.

The development is funded in part through the California Department of Housing and Community Development No Place Like Home Program, the County of Riverside, Housing Authority of Riverside County, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Bank of America.

“Vista de La Sierra represents how strategic land reuse and public-private partnerships, led by National CORE, can have in providing much needed affordable housing for low-income and formerly homeless residents,” said Maria Joyce, senior vice president, Bank of America Community Development Bank. “This service-rich community can be transformational for its residents and the La Sierra neighborhood. Bank of America was proud to provide construction and permanent financing, along with low-income housing tax credit equity and sponsorship of an AHP loan to help make this housing community a reality.”

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About National CORE

National CORE is one of the largest nonprofit developers in the nation, with a 30-year history of being an innovator in the field. In 2021, National CORE became one of only two affordable housing developers to earn an A+ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings. In 2022, National CORE issued $100 million in Series 2022 Social Bonds to accelerate the development of critically needed affordable housing. Serving more than 25,000 residents, National CORE strives to be a launching pad, not a landing pad, for families struggling financially. In 1998, National CORE created the Hope through Housing Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit, whose mission is to end the cycle of generational poverty through resident services that promote educational attainment, economic mobility, and overall well-being.