From the CEO
The Housing Crisis is Not Just About Affordability
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
The housing crisis is often framed as an affordability problem, and in many ways it is. But it’s also a mobility problem, underscored in a new Census Bureau study showing a steady decline in the percentage of Americans who are moving from one home to the next. That percentage fell to a record low of 11.2% in 2016 – half of what it was in 1965. For a variety of reasons – most notably a slowdown in economic mobility – people are staying put longer than ever, which further tightens a housing market already squeezed by regulatory and economic barriers to new-home development. Through our Hope through Housing Foundation, National CORE is committed to creating pathways to economic mobility for our residents. Check out Lydia’s story below to see how our residents are realizing the dream of homeownership. We view affordable housing not as a destination, but a springboard to prosperity. That’s the American Dream, and the more we can nurture that, the more likely it is that our housing market will achieve a balance that has escaped it for years.
Lydia’s Story: “It’s a beautiful feeling to have your own home!”
Lydia Lopez never imagined homeownership as even a remote possibility. National CORE made it a reality. A resident of the former Waterman Gardens public housing community in San Bernardino since 1999, Lydia learned a year ago that she and her husband could qualify for homeownership under a first-time homebuyer program for residents who make too much to stay in subsidized housing but couldn’t afford a conventional mortgage. It has changed her life. “Oh my God, I cried. I cried. It’s a beautiful feeling to have your own home,” she says. “I’m like a kid now.” Although she won’t close on her home for a few weeks, Lydia already has her plans in place. “The first thing we’re going to do is replace the lawn and paint the house. I am so excited I can’t even describe it.” Lydia’s path to homeownership began when she learned that her husband made too much money to qualify for a unit in the Arrowhead Grove community, a state-of-the-art workforce housing community that is replacing Waterman Gardens. “They told us we might be able to qualify for a low-income homeownership program. We filled out all the papers, got everything in order, and it has all worked out. I’m so grateful to National CORE for making this happen.”
San Diego: Making it possible for people who live in our community to stay in our community
One of our most highly anticipated new housing communities is taking shape in one of America’s most expensive housing markets. Located in a low-income section of San Diego, a well-attended groundbreaking was held earlier this month for Encanto Village. The project will include 65 affordable housing units for families making 60% or less of the median income for the San Diego metro area, as well as eight units for homeless veterans. Assemblymember Todd Gloria spoke passionately about the need for increasing the housing stock in the region, saying “Developments like this help to illustrate what we’re trying to do – making it not about gentrification, but about stabilization, so that people who live in this community can continue to live in this community, that they can thrive, and they can prosper for generations to come.” Encanto Village is currently under construction with an anticipated completion date of October 2019.
A Day of Crazy Kids at CORE!
National CORE believes in building our next generation of leaders, so on April 26, we enthusiastically joined other organizations in celebrating “Bring Your Child to Work Day.” Nearly 50 kids reported to the National CORE corporate office to check-in and receive their badges. The day’s agenda consisted of an orientation; a welcome from Steve PonTell, National CORE President and CEO, and Hope through Housing’s President, Greg Bradbard; interviews; a panel discussion with National CORE executives; arts and crafts; a carnival and a construction project where the kids built and raced their own boats.
“It’s nice to show our children what we do, not only as their parents, but as an organization,” said Dorrie Bryan, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Operations. “This event is something that we look forward to doing as a team every year.”
In addition to parents sharing their work experiences, the event featured demonstrations by Rancho Cucamonga’s police and fire departments and a visit from Aftershock, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes baseball team mascot.
Fourteen-year-old Jaidyn Martin who attended the event for the first time said, “It was a really cool experience. I met some nice people and learned that this is the type of environment I’d like to work in one day. Everyone here enjoys helping people.”
Despite the activities and ice cream, the payday component was the highlight for many. Each participant received a $5 paycheck made out to him or her that they were able to cash in at the end of the day. Not bad for a day of fun.
Need a Great Gift Idea for Mother’s Day?
Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13. Honor a mom by making a donation to Hope through Housing that will change the life of a child.
To donate, text “MothersOfHope” to 41444, or visit: http://hthf.org/moms/.
With your donation, you’ll receive a free personalized e-card to send to the mom you’re honoring.
Affordable Housing in the News
(Real Estate Weekly)