National CORE positioned for next quarter century as affordable housing leader
National Community Renaissance (National CORE) just celebrated its 25th anniversary, but the organization is wasting no time launching its next quarter century transforming lives and communities.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. A housing crisis of historic proportion has left millions of Americans without adequate, affordable shelter, widened the gap between rich and poor, and left countless families without the means to provide their children with a better future. Southern California alone faces an estimated shortfall of 600,000 housing units, which has pushed rental rates and housing costs overall even higher.
With one of the best management teams in the business, and a top-to-bottom commitment to finding innovative solutions to the underlying challenges confronting the housing market, National CORE is attacking the crisis head on:
- In San Bernardino, redevelopment of the former Waterman Gardens public housing project will bring more than 400 new units of affordable and market-rate apartments to one of the city’s most challenged neighborhoods.
- In the coastal city of Oceanside, National CORE is ushering in a new era of high-quality affordable apartment living with the opening of the much-anticipated Mission Cove community for families, seniors, veterans and transitional age youth. When completed, Mission Cove will include 288 housing units, a community center, onsite afterschool and preschool programs, and 10,500 square feet of retail, commercial and office space.
- In Pasadena, National CORE has teamed with Union Station Homeless Services to open Marv’s Place, the only permanent supportive housing in the city available to formerly homeless families. The 20-unit community provides residents with assistance in career development, money management classes, and mental-health and substance abuse services.
“National CORE has become a leading voice and change agent in addressing our region’s housing crisis. The creative solutions they’re bringing to the table are making it easier for cities to say ‘yes’ to additional housing,” said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of SCAG, which has tapped into National CORE to help lead a regional discussion on housing solutions.
“We can’t do things the way we always have,” said Steve PonTell, National CORE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The leadership team we’ve assembled understands that and has created an unparalleled environment of innovation and commitment to mission that is making a difference in a very difficult environment.”
National CORE was founded 25 years ago by developers Jeffrey Burum and Andrew Wright. Today, National CORE manages more than 9,000 housing units in California, Texas, Florida and Arkansas.
“The work we do would not be possible without the exceptional team we have in place,” said Burum, who recently returned as Chairman of the Board. “The relationships they’ve built, and the commitment they give each and every day to our mission, have allowed us to succeed where others may have given up.”
Among the many examples of successful partnerships National CORE has forged were with the City of San Clemente, CA, where its Las Palmas Village Apartments provides 18 units of much-needed workforce housing for very low-income families in one of the most expensive counties (Orange) in California, and Rancho Cucamonga, where six National CORE communities serve individuals, families and seniors.
“Las Palmas exemplifies a successful partnership with National Community Renaissance and others,” San Clemente Mayor Bob Baker said before the rental community’s grand opening in 2016. “When we provide housing options for our local workforce, we promote economic and social benefits, and the entire community wins.”
Said Rancho Cucamonga Mayor L. Dennis Michael, “The City of Rancho Cucamonga is proud of the long history National CORE has in our community, following the mission and vision established 25 years ago, to create quality housing for the families and cities they serve.”
Part of what distinguishes National CORE is its unique structure as a developer, builder, property manager and social services provider. This allows the organization to recruit highly specialized professionals and bring industry best practices to each of its communities:
- National CORE’s construction department is nationally recognized as a leader and innovator in new construction, rehabilitation, infill development, senior housing and green building. National CORE-built communities are consistently honored with the highest levels of LEED Certification for energy efficiency and environmental design, while projects such as Marv’s Place (Pasadena) are held up as models for integrating affordable housing into existing communities.
- National CORE’s property management division recently received top honors from the Institute of Real Estate Management for an innovated water conservation program, “Doing Our Part,” that combined state-of-the-art efficiency practices with an aggressive educational campaign showing residents how their water savings matters. National CORE continues to be a leader in developing sustainable communities and implementing conservation programs that maintain the health and stability of the communities it serves.
- National CORE’s project development team has built a reputation for taking on the toughest projects under the toughest of circumstances. In East Los Angeles, National CORE partnered with the East Los Angeles Community Corporation to develop an apartment community that would transform a blighted neighborhood while creating access to employment opportunities for residents. The result was the 60-unit Alta Vista apartments that feature 11 ground-floor live-work units for resident small businesses and easy access to mass transportation – all in a modern urban setting.
- The Hope through Housing Foundation, which was founded by National CORE to provide or manage social services, empowers residents to increase their health, wellbeing and future self-sufficiency. Programs include workforce development, preschool and after-school care, special needs services and senior wellness.
“As important as high-quality shelter is to transforming lives and breaking destructive cycles, giving residents the tools to move from dependency to self-sufficiency is a true difference maker,” said Greg Bradbard, President of Hope through Housing. “Together with National CORE, Hope through Housing offers the communities we serve the opportunity to change the way their most vulnerable residents live – empowering them to pursue better lives for themselves and their children.”