From the CEO
The Senior Housing Crisis: Local government needs to act now
Steve PonTell, President and CEO
National Community Renaissance
Many factors contribute to the health and well-being of a community, but at the center of them all is the attainability of quality housing. Sadly, for large segments of the population, the American dream is just that – a dream – undermined by an affordability gap that widens with each passing year. Perhaps no group is more broadly impacted by this than our seniors, who, according to a new study by the Bipartisan Policy Center, increasingly are being left in the cold when it comes to this most basic human need. The report, “Healthy Aging Begins at Home,” was developed over the past year by the center’s Senior Health and Housing Task Force. It notes that America’s senior population is set to expand dramatically over the next 15 years, and that by 2030, more than 20 percent of the U.S. population will be 65 or older. “Without a comprehensive national approach to integrating health care and housing, far too many seniors will face undue health, home and financial stresses during their most vulnerable years,” Task Force Co-Chair Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said in support of the report. We can’t afford to sit idly anymore. As Americans live longer, public policy needs to support and encourage attainable, affordable housing with integrated health-care and supportive services. We also cannot wait for the federal or state government to solve this. Local government needs to act now.
Providing Shelter Only Part of the Solution
By Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo
President of the Hope through Housing Foundation
Jimmy Carter once wrote that “decent housing is not just a wish, it is a human right.” Unfortunately, that right has been under assault in the United States, and especially here in Southern California, as the gap between rich and poor has widened. The truth is – and the former President’s quote underscores this – having a home to call your own is about more than a roof over your head. It’s about living a healthy life, with a sense of independence, dignity and purpose. To that end, providing shelter is only part of the solution. Supportive services and a proactive approach to health and safety are essential to ensuring that Americans can age successfully in their own homes and communities. According to the National Council on Aging, 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic illness, and 68 percent have at least two. Investing in senior wellness programs not only can improve quality of life, it makes good economic sense. Take Medicare spending, as an example. By 2020, the total Medicare bill in the United States is expected to reach $905 billion, and yet, reducing obesity in seniors to 1980 levels would save $1 trillion over the next 25 years. Add to this the social isolation and loneliness all too many older Americans encounter, and it’s clear that we are in the midst of a senior health – and housing – crisis that’s going to require a serious policy solution. We encourage Congress and lawmakers at the state and local levels to follow the Bipartisan Policy Center’s recommendations, and to make independent living needs a safe, realistic option for one of the fastest-growing segments of the population.
“Doing Our Part” to Conserve Water
April numbers are in for the “Doing Our Part” Water Conservation Competition among National CORE properties. Currently in first place is Plaza at Sierra. Congratulations to our community management team at this property and thank you to our residents for helping us make a difference. When it comes to water conservation, we mean business. As one example, we have replaced nearly a quarter-million square feet of turf with drought-tolerant plants throughout our portfolio during the past year.
For more information on “Doing Our Part” and National CORE’s conservation efforts, go to http://nationalcore.org/news/conservation/.
Oakcrest Heights Approved for Tax Credit Financing
Construction should begin before the end of the year on National CORE’s 54-unit Oakcrest Heights community in Yorba Linda after it was announced that the project will receive more than $1.5 million in federal tax-credit financing. “We’re thrilled to be able to fill a critical need for attainable housing in Orange County, and appreciate the support we’ve had from the start from the City of Yorba Linda and our other partners,” said Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of National CORE. Oakcrest Heights is one of two National CORE communities in the Savi Ranch neighborhood. This fall, the first move-ins are expected to take place at Oakcrest Terrace, a 69-unit apartment community designed to meet the needs of four high-priority market segments: the locally employed, seniors, veterans and families. Oakcrest Heights will be offered to households classified as low-income, very low-income and extremely low-income. A number of the units will be set aside for low-income veterans and for transitional age youth moving out of foster care and into permanent independent living.”Housing communities such as those we’re building in Savi Ranch are transforming lives by providing quality shelter and life-changing human services that promote upward mobility and financial independence,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation.
Update: Waterman Gardens
The revitalization of Waterman Gardens in San Bernardino, Calif., has begun! On May 25, National CORE hosted Board members and community leaders at the community’s first phase, under construction at Valencia and 9th Street. Meanwhile, our partners at Wells Fargo & Co. announced it has provided the project with $22.7 million in funding under the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Wells Fargo supplied $8.8 million in construction-to-permanent financing through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Sec. 221(d)(4) program, and purchased $13.9 million in low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). The development is part of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which provides the opportunity to convert public housing properties into long-term Sec. 8 housing.
Working Together to Make a Difference
National CORE thanks the Board of Directors for the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) for donating their time to paint the community center, computer lab and office at our San Antonio Vista community in Montclair, Calif. Not only did they give of their time, but paid for the necessary supplies.
Save the Date
Upcoming events for National CORE and Hope through Housing. For more information, please contact Christy Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (909) 204-3423.
“An Evening of Hope”
Affordable Housing in the News
The Mentally Ill Need Supportive Affordable Housing
New York Times
Affordable housing crunch? Some investors hope to help
Christian Science Monitor
Group works to preserve affordable housing options for poor families
News and Notes
Around National CORE
San Antonio Vista and Vista Del Cielo (Montclair, CA) Our annual end-of-the-school-year bash!
National CORE was well represented at the California Apartment Association’s annual golf outing.
Rancho Verde Village (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) A fun time was had by all at our recent barbecue.
Little Lake Village (Hawthorne, CA) held a graduation ceremony for its Diabetes Prevention Class.
Monterey Village (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) held a community-wide yard sale