From the CEO
Building the Future of Community
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
This week, an article in the Sacramento Bee asked California Influencers, “How could California solve the housing crisis?”
Today’s housing shortage is estimated at 3.5 million units and continues to grow. As an industry that faces opposition to housing solutions, declining resources and increasing costs, and conflicting alignment of priorities, how do we overcome these challenges? At National CORE, our team is searching for partners whose missions are in alignment with ours. We are busting myths about affordable housing through education, we are looking at ways to reduce our costs (time, design, CEQA, fees, etc.), and we are actively identifying new and potential funding sources. Every policy should help answer the housing question.
As we advocate for our industry. I would like to share our housing principles:
- Housing is essential to a healthy, thriving community.
- Equally important is a range of housing that provides for people from all walks of life and in all life stages.
- Poorly conceived policies and regulations threaten the ability to meet housing demands.
- An inadequate housing supply leads to overcrowding and the long-term deterioration of communities. Roads, water, sewer, schools, parks, police, and fire are all overtaxed.
- Adequate housing is a proven social determinant of health, education outcomes, violent crime reduction, and the demand for social services.
- An adequate supply of housing generates more revenue than an undersupply. Therefore, housing is a net gain to local government, not a net cost. People demand services; houses do not. People come whether or not you have adequate housing.
- Many businesses make decisions on where to locate and invest based on housing costs and the ability to attract qualified employees.
- Housing costs are determined by supply and demand. A shortage of supply sends prices up, consuming a greater share of household income.
- Well-designed and managed publicly subsidized housing can be a catalyst for transformation in neighborhoods where the economics will not drive new development.
For more information, regarding how National CORE is addressing the housing crisis, please contact Chris Paez at (909) 204-3507.
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma Tours National CORE Communities
As soon as California State Treasurer Fiona Ma was sworn into office, she invited Californians to weigh-in on the State’s affordable housing crisis, holding a statewide listening tour earlier this year. Since then, she has continued to be a champion for the industry, taking her lead from Governor Newsom. Ma is now actively seeking ways for her Office to support the Governor’s goal of creating 3.5 million new housing units by 2025.
During a recent visit to the Inland Empire, National CORE had the opportunity to take Ma and her Chief of Staff Genevie Jopanda on a tour of several affordable housing communities in Montclair, Calif. “It was an honor to be able to show the State Treasurer our approach to community revitalization. We make a long-term commitment to the residents and communities we serve. It starts with the stability of having a beautiful, affordable home and continues with resident programs that offer access and opportunities,” commented Jeff Burum, Chairman of National CORE’s Board of Directors.
As she toured the different communities, Ma took time to talk with residents. It was a real treat for seniors of San Marino. They spoke proudly of their community, about the support they receive from Claudia Coletta, the onsite services coordinator, and their hope that all seniors had a place like this to call home. At San Emi, a special needs community for adults with developmental disabilities, Ma visited a resident’s home, who proudly let her in to see the furnished apartment where she lived independently, thanks to the onsite services provided.
Ma finished her tour visiting National CORE’s family communities of Vista del Cielo and San Antonio. “I cannot thank these families enough for opening their doors and sharing their stories,” Ma said. National CORE’s communities in Montclair serve more than 600 residents providing an array of programs and services, including an onsite after-school program in partnership with the City of Montclair. In her closing comments, Ma said, “I want my office to play a more proactive role in addressing the state’s housing shortage, so we can build more communities like the ones I visited today. I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
National CORE First Developer to Join AIA 2030 Commitment
In a recent press release, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that National CORE is the first developer to sign the AIA 2030 Commitment. AIA’s 2030 Commitment provides architects, engineers—and now developers and owners—with the tools and resources necessary to change how communities design and develop with the goal of combatting the effects of climate change.
“We want to welcome National CORE as the first real estate developer to join AIA’s 2030 Commitment,” said AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “We look forward to accelerating progress toward our net zero goals in partnership with National CORE and other real estate leaders in the future.”
As a signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment, National CORE will work with their design teams to report energy performance data from their full portfolio of housing communities.
“We are excited to join the 2030 Commitment and are dedicated to delivering high-performing, sustainable projects with our architects,” said Steve PonTell, President and CEO of National CORE. “If we can meet the 2030 Commitment goals in our affordable housing communities, so can any owner-developer.”
Information surrounding the most recent 2030 progress report can be accessed on AIA’s website.
Reigniting Passion, Purpose, and Pride for Working in Affordable Housing
On April 11, in a packed room at the annual Texas Apartment Association Conference, our team (Dorrie Bryan, Angela Lindsey, and Angel Rogers) shared National CORE’s approach for building high-functioning property management teams within the very complex and restrictive world of affordable housing. Their presentation focused on three key areas: (1) strategies for keeping employees motivated, engaged, and customer-care oriented; (2) strategies for onboarding and new hire orientation; and (3) recognition and rewards.
During the presentation, they talked about two unique books that National CORE has produced as part of their annual An Evening of Hope Gala. The first, printed in 2017, is Every Monday Matters, a compilation of emails by Olen Jones that have been sent out Monday mornings since January 2009 to all National CORE employees to offer a different perspective of Mondays — from the end of a weekend to an opportunity to make a difference. As a mission-driven organization, Olen reminds employees every Monday that the work we do every day, whether from our desk at the corporate office or onsite at one of our properties, impacts the lives of children, families, and seniors living in our communities. Ten years later, Olen is still reminding us weekly that “every Monday matters.”
The other book, Dreams of Hope, was printed in 2018 and is a compilation of more than 40 resident stories. The book is dedicated to all the children, families, and seniors who have touched our hearts over the years. They are stories of courage and inspiration and are a testament to the fact that affordable housing can be a platform for transformational change.
“It was an amazing experience. I had a gentleman share that he saw our presentation last year in San Diego and has been using the Every Monday Matters book ever since to motivate his team,” said Angela Lindsey, Vice President of Property Management. “Professionals in our industry are at-risk of burnout and we need to find ways to remind our employees why we do what we do and how important they are to our success.”
National CORE is Hiring!
Join our team! National CORE is seeking smart, dedicated, and mission-driven individuals with experience in property management, maintenance, and construction to join our team. We offer competitive compensation packages and comprehensive benefit plans that include medical, dental, vision, 401(k) plan with match, life insurance, LTD, FSA, paid holidays, vacation, and sick time.
On Saturday, March 31, National CORE hosted a job fair at its corporate office in Rancho Cucamonga, providing us with an opportunity to meet 65 job seekers from our region. Candidates were greeted at the door and spent the next hour filling out applications, being interviewed, and finding out the next steps. We had a couple of great candidates, three of which have already joined our team. To find out more about job opportunities at National CORE, please visit Our Career Portal!