From the CEO
Fostering Healthy Environments
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
Happy New Year! As we begin 2019, National CORE continues to work with strategic partners to create better educational and health outcomes for more than 25,000 residents in California, Texas, Arkansas and Florida. There is no denying that there is a relationship between healthy living and personal success, of which housing plays a critical role. Studies have shown that stable housing improves educational achievement, civic participation and engagement, leads to happier and healthier families and reduces neighborhood crime and health challenges. At National CORE we believe that safe, quality housing is the first step in true revitalization followed by access to resources that promote prosperity, quality of life and physical well-being. National CORE has very deliberately incorporated health in all aspects of its communities, from constructing sustainable developments and creating healthy living conditions to providing supportive health and social services and promoting positive health outcomes. In 2019 we resolve to continue looking at new and innovative ways to create healthy environments that positively impact the well-being of our residents and the communities we serve.
What Health and Housing Means to CORE Resident Diane Boveland
Ten years ago, after working 25 years for the telephone company, Diane Boveland was enjoying her retirement, when she suffered an aneurysm and stroke. The onslaught of medical expenses quickly left her financial situation bleak.
Looking for someplace she could afford, Diane found Plaza at Sierra, one of four National CORE senior apartment communities, in downtown Fontana. Now a resident, Diane found a home where her finances go a little further and a home that is good for her health thanks to Hope through Housing’s programs and services.
“At our senior communities, we partner with universities, insurance providers, health organizations, food banks and other nonprofits to help address the specific needs of our residents,” said Lynda Roman, Hope through Housing Services Coordinator.
One of these partnerships is with Cal State San Bernardino’s Nursing Department. Nursing students in the program along with their instructor visit weekly to provide health checks, health education, nutritious snacks and wellness activities. The students receive hands-on experience and the residents become more engaged in their health and well-being.
The nursing students engage seniors during their visits and give them opportunities to ask questions. “At the beginning of each session, we are asked what we’d like to talk about,” said Diane. “I watch Dr. Oz, so I wanted to know more about the Mediterranean Diet, which I’d heard about on his show.” The nursing students also spend time focusing on mental health and providing stress-reducing activities, such as meditation and painting.
“I really enjoy the activities,” added Diane. “It keeps me socially active. I feel very fortunate.”
Dignity Health Steps Up as New Strategic Partner in San Bernardino
National CORE welcomes Dignity Health Systems to the list of strategic partners working to improve the quality of life for residents living in the Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood of San Bernardino, Calif. The development at large replaces a former 1940s public housing project with high-quality affordable housing and millions of dollars in related investment, serving as a catalyst for economic growth and community transformation.
Dignity Health Systems will provide a $1.2 million bridge loan to help advance the development in future phases. The loan is part of Dignity Health’s Community Investment Program, which is designed to address social determinants of health, such as housing, in underserved populations.
“As a hospital system, we have a responsibility to ensure our patients live in a community that serves their needs, because healthy communities are necessary for healthy people,” said Pablo Bravo, Dignity Health’s vice president of community health. “It’s more than simply putting a roof over someone’s head; it’s about giving people a sense of dignity and connection to their town and neighborhood.”
In total, 400 affordable and market-rate apartments will be developed on the 38-acre site. The first two phases have been completed. The Dignity Health loan will play a significant role in constructing the third and final phase, which will also include community amenities, upgraded infrastructure and an educational village to facilitate integrated learning for the community’s children.
National CORE congratulates its construction team on receiving LEED for Homes Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for this development, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to incorporating green strategies to achieve efficiencies and healthy indoor environments.
New CORE Communities Receive Highest Sustainable Green Building Certification
National CORE’s construction team has extensive experience with sustainable Green Point rated, LEED and universally designed developments. As part of its commitment to promote health and housing, National CORE has integrated energy efficiency and sustainability into the design and construction of our high-quality, affordable housing communities as standard practice, positioning National CORE as a leader in green building for nonprofit community builders.
This commitment can be seen in the certification of LEED for Homes Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) last month for Oakcrest Heights in Yorba Linda and Vista del Puente in San Diego. Platinum is the highest designation under the council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design program. National CORE worked with Green Dinosaur, an energy consultant, to navigate the certification process. The designation level is determined by factors, such as: indoor and outdoor water conservation, insultation materials used, storm water management, SEER ratings and the efficiency of the HVAC and hot water heating systems.
“At National CORE, we strive to create cost-effective sustainable communities and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Tim Kohut, AIA Director of Sustainable Design. “We also want to provide healthy homes for our residents and reduce energy costs for them whenever possible.”
In addition to new construction, National CORE also has added an Energy and Sustainability Department to upgrade existing structures. In 2018, 164 water and energy-efficient projects, including the instillation of low-flow toilets and Wi-Fi thermostats, were upgraded at 66 communities in Southern California. In 2019, National CORE will develop and construct a solar energy project that will remove 50,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere; the equivalent of planting two million trees, reducing energy costs for more than 5,000 residents.
Leadership in Action – Congratulations to Council Member Lorena Barajas!
National CORE congratulates Lorena Barajas on her successful run for Council Member for Jurupa Valley — District 1. Lorena has been an employee of National CORE since 2005 and is currently a project engineer for our construction division. When asked why she ran for office, Lorena shared, “I’ve been a community volunteer for almost 20 years. The community wanted change and so did I. I felt that it was my time to step up, support the community and be an advocate for change.”
Celebrating the Holidays at National CORE
The Hope Through Housing Foundation delivered thousands of gifts at holiday parties throughout our properties during December. Thank you to the many individuals and companies who donated to make the holidays bright for our kids!
Affordable Housing in the News
“Health Interventions in Public Housing May Reduce Residents’ Obesity”
“Why Housing and Healthcare Must Join Hands”