SBEDA

12.02.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on City of San Bernardino Seniors Discuss Urgent Housing Needs

City of San Bernardino Seniors Discuss Urgent Housing Needs

Carey Jenkins, San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s Director of Housing and Economic Development, taking questions from local residents, concerning proposed rehabilitation of the Lugo Apartment complex. Photo by Chris Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Elected officials, community leaders and local residents gathered as San Bernardino City 1st Ward Councilmember Virginia Marquez and the San Bernardino Housing and Community Development staff, held an informational meeting regarding the acquisition and rehabilitation proposed for the Lugo Apartments, located at 839 Lugo Avenue.

“Tonight our focus is you, the community,” said councilmember Marquez. “I urge everyone to be engaged and to ask questions. It is important for you to tell us what is wanted and what is important to you.  This is our neighborhood.”

Scheduled for presentation during the San Bernardino City Council December 6 meeting, the project has been proposed as an affordable senior living housing complex. Held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the gathering gave attendees a chance to share their thoughts and concerns, as they discussed the development, cost and management of this project.

According to the City’s 2010 Consolidated Plan, San Bernardino has approximately 7,100 vacant dwelling units, which includes a mix of single family, three and four-plex properties, as well as larger scale multi-plex properties. In addition, a study conducted in 2008 revealed the city is approximately 1,000 units below what is needed for an aging population in the form of affordable senior housing.

“I think tonight was very informative and step in right direction,” said San Bernardino Police Officer Aaron Jones, who patrols the Lugo Apartment neighborhood. “If everything falls in place, as explained, this should make the community a much safer place.”

Currently 120 units, the Lugo Apartments has fallen victim to urban blight and increased criminal activity.  Centrally located, the proposed project is seen as playing a key role in reducing many of the problems in the neighborhood and will go a long way in bringing the City in line with the projected need for affordable senior housing as well.

“Ultimately, our plan is to transformed the property into a 119-unit senior-only complex, with a community clubhouse,” said Carey Jenkins, San Bernardino Housing and Community Development director. “It sits on approximately 3 acres and once transformed, this project will go a long way in providing enhanced amenities for our growing population of seniors.

Carrying a total development cost of $18.5 million, the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency will look to partner with Meta Housing Corporation to develop and manage the complex. The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s agreed upon subsidy for the project is set at $6.5 million. Funding will subsidize a portion of the site acquisition, assist with tenant relocation and pay for pre-development cost.

Meta Housing Corporations is a Los Angeles-based firm specializing in the development and financing of affordable and market-rate apartment communities for families and seniors, has been proposed as the developer on this project, based on their expertise in acquiring and rehabilitating existing residential units to suit senior living.

“I think this is a great idea,” said local resident Lillice Andreson. “Normally I am very leery about this type of thing, where people can potentially loose their homes, but this is nothing like that.  This neighborhood desperately needs an affordable senior facility.”

Meta Housing Corporation has built a reputation of offering amenities and programs that help senior residents embrace the full potential of a high quality lifestyle. Once completed, the complex will feature new interior flooring, paint, energy efficient light and heating, new faucets and toilets in the bathrooms, and new kitchen countertops, appliances and cabinets.

The exterior will offer new property line perimeter wall, landscaping, wheelchair accessible ramps, reconstruction of carports, dual glazed energy efficient windows, new roof, new paint, new asphalt parking and driveway areas, as well as elevators and bridges between buildings for handicapped access.

Plans for a community clubhouse have been developed, designed to create a social gathering space. The clubhouse will offer a fully equipped library, computer room, guest parking and security access gate. There will also be on-site tenant services that include health and wellness classes, lifelong learning and creative arts programs.

“I thought the reaction from the attendees has been very positive and there seems to be support for this,” said Jenkins. “This is the first step, it is a process and we are here to make sure we listen to the community and address any concerns they may have.”

For more information on this project call Carey Jenkins at the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044.

-End-

Media:  If you would like any of the photos in the slide show below please send an email to Chris@DameronCommunications.com with the photo id number and i will have it to you within 24 hours.  If you require the photo sooner please call Chris Sloan at (909) 888-0017.

11.05.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on 80 Units of Affordable Luxury Soon Available for San Bernardino Seniors

80 Units of Affordable Luxury Soon Available for San Bernardino Seniors

Aaron Mandel of Meta Housing, second from left receives a certificate of appreciation presented to him by Senior Field Representative Sheila Futch on behalf of Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter as Mayor Pat Morris, and Ward 6 Council Member Rikke Van Johnson watch.

Left to right): Aaron Mandel-Meta Housing, Mayor Pat Morris, Josie Gonzales-5th District Supervisor, Graham Espey-Jones-Western Community Housing, John Huskey- Meta Housing, Fred Shorett-Council Member Ward 4, Jeffrey Boysen-President of Optimus Construction Inc. turn over the first shovels of dirt at a new luxury senior housing project, Magnolia at Highland. Photo by Chris Sloan.

(Left to right): Pastor Ray Turner, Carey Jenkins-Director of Housing & Community Development, Emil Marzullo-Executive Director of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, Rikke Van Johnson-Council Member Ward 6, Virginia Marquez-Council Member Ward 1, Aaron Mandel-Meta Housing, Mayor Pat Morris, Josie Gonzales-5th District Supervisor, Graham Espey-Jones-Western Community Housing, John Huskey- Meta Housing, Fred Shorett-Council Member Ward 4, Jeffrey Boysen-President of Optimus Construction Inc. dig in to start construction of a new luxury senior housing project, Magnolia at Highland. Photo by Chris Sloan

8992: (left to right): Jeffrey Boysen-President of Optimus Construction Inc, Graham Espey-Jones-Western Community Housing, Aaron Mandel-Meta Housing, Rikke Van Johnson-Council Member Ward 6, Pastor Ray Turner, Milo Victoria-CEO/General Manager, Virginia Marquez-Council Member Ward 1, Fred Shorett-Council Member Ward 4, Josie Gonzales-5th District Supervisor, Mayor Pat Morris, Carey Jenkins-Director of Housing & Community Development, John Huskey- Meta Housing at the Magnolia at Highland groundbreaking ceremony. Photo by Chris Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Residents in the City of San Bernardino will soon have affordable luxury living available on the west side of town, for individuals age 62 and older, courtesy of The Magnolia at Highland Project.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, City of San Bernardino Mayor, Patrick Morris, San Bernardino City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson, along with a host of city officials and dignitaries, came together at a recent ground breaking for this luxury senior citizen housing complex.

“This day signals the beginning of a transformation of what was once a blighted automotive site, into a high quality residential community for one of our most treasured resources – our seniors,” said Mayor Morris.

Located on the South West corner of Highland and Medical Center Drive, the project is declared to be a milestone for the City of San Bernardino and was the result of a study conducted in 2008 that revealed the city was approximately 1,000 units below what is needed for an aging population in the form of affordable senior housing.

“This is one more great project for the city of San Bernardino. I am always here to support projects such as this,” said San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales.

Scheduled for a January 2012 opening, the community will have an on-site community advisor, offering seniors multiple educational and social activities.  If that is not enough, a luxury resort level setting, with a choice of three separate floor plans, will also surround them.

The first floor plan is a one-bedroom unit of approximately 589 square feet with a patio or balcony. The two other plans consist of 2-bedroom units of approximately 828 square feet and 971 square feet, also with patios or balconies.

An outdoor patio area with shade trees, a fountain, barbecue grills, a swimming pool and adequate areas for relaxed seating will enhance the exterior of the facility. A walking path around the perimeter of the building will allow residents the opportunity for exercise while at the same time providing them with a sense of security as the path will be within a decorative 6-foot wrought iron fence that surrounds the project.

“This is the culmination of several years of hard work,” said Carey Jenkins, San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s Housing and Community Development Director.  “It is exciting to move forward with a project that has an immediate benefit to the residents and the city, while we continue our efforts to revitalize the west side of San Bernardino.”

Carrying a total development cost of $19 million, the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency partnered with Optimus Construction, Inc., Wells Fargo Bank, Chase, California Community Reinvestment Corporation, Western Community Housing Management and Meta Housing to reach their goal.

The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s agreed upon subsidy for the project is $7 million from its redevelopment low and moderate income housing funds. These funds are for housing only and cannot be used for city’s general fund.

The project has also retained a one-acre parcel of land for future sale or development opportunities, and creates a future stream of income that can be used for developments including senior or single-family housing.

“This was the easiest city we ever worked with,” said John Huskey of Meta Housing, Inc. “They were very responsive and really made the effort to provide us with the input we needed, in a timely fashion, which enabled us to provide them with what they really wanted.”

For more information on this project call Carey Jenkins at the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044.

-end-

Media:  If you would like any of the photos in the slide show below please send an email to Chris@DameronCommunications.com with the photo id number and i will have it to you within 24 hours.  If you require the photo sooner please call Chris Sloan at (909) 888-0017.

10.22.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Ground Breaking Celebration of The Magnolia at highland

Ground Breaking Celebration of The Magnolia at highland

On Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:30 am at 2120 Medical Center Drive (corner of Highland and Medical Center Drive) in San Bernardino as Mayor Patrick Morris and local dignitaries break ground on this exciting new development created for seniors age 62+. This project transforms a blighted automotive site into 80 units of high quality, affordable housing for seniors, retains a one-acre parcel of land for future sale or development opportunities, and creates a future stream of income that can be used for future developments including senior or single-family housing.

Who: City of San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris, Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson, Meta Housing and Western Seniors Housing Presidents.

What: The Ground Breaking Celebration of The Magnolia at Highland, a luxury senior citizen housing complex on the west side of San Bernardino.

When: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:30 am

Where: The Corner of Highland and Medical Center Drive in San Bernardino

Why: This project transforms a blighted automotive site into 80 units of high quality, affordable housing for seniors, retains a one-acre parcel of land for future sale or development opportunities, and creates a future stream of income that can be used for future developments including senior or single-family housing.

This is a milestone for the City of San Bernardino’s housing plan adopted in October of 2008. The total development cost for the project is $17.5 million. The agency’s agreed upon subsidy for the project is $7 million from Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). These funds are for housing only and cannot be used for city’s general fund.

Visuals: Mayor Patrick Morris and project dignitaries break ground on this $17.5 million project.

Public: Please call Shannan Gonzales at (909) 888-0017 to R.S.V.P.

Media:   Contact Carl Dameron at (909) 888-0017 office (909) 534-9500 cell.

08.27.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Fixing San Bernardino’s Housing

Fixing San Bernardino’s Housing

Mayor Patrick Morris stands in front of the first of 46 blighted fourplexes the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency will demolish in the 19th and Sunrise area, to make way for new projects that will be developed at a later date. This demolition project was funded with money from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, of the United States Housing and Urban Development. Photo by YeeKang Kong.

Carey Jenkins, director of Housing and Community Development for the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, discusses plans for the 19th & Sunrise area of the city with a neighborhood resident. Those plans include demolishing 46 fourplexes to make room for new development, and renovating 25 additional fourplexes. Funding for the demolition and renovation came from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program of the United States Housing and Urban Development. Photo by YeeKang Kong.

Susan McDevitt (third from right), executive director of Mary Erickson Community Housing and San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris (right), cut the ribbon on Eastpointe Village as other local dignitaries watch. The dignitaries are, from left, Carey Jenkins, director of Housing and Community Development for the San Bernardino Economic Development Association; Jim Yerdon, community development specialist with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; Doug Bystry, chairman of the board of directors for Mary Erickson Community Housing, Jerry Paresa, executive director of governmental relations for San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Lynn Valbuena, vice chairman of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Eastpointe Village is a new apartment complex near 19th and Sunrise in San Bernardino, available to families making up to $32,500 yearly for a family of four. Mary Erickson Community Housing, in partnership with the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, is creating Eastpointe Village by renovating 25 fourplexes in the 19th and Sunrise neighborhood, with funds the Economic Development Agency obtained through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Photo by Matt Sloan

Connie Williams, (left) manager of newly opened Eastpointe Village, shows two neighborhood residents a map showing the changes coming to the area of 19th and Sunrise in San Bernardino. Williams is pointing to 2194 E. 19th St., the same fourplex in which the women are standing. It and the rest of the buildings shown in blue on the map are in the process of being renovated to create Eastpointe Village, luxurious apartments for families making up to $32,500 for a family of four. The building in which they are standing was the first one renovated. The green and gold areas on the map show 46 additional fourplexes that are in the process of being demolished to make way for new development at a later date. The San Bernardino Economic Development Association is funding both the renovation and the demolition through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program of the United States Department of Housing and Community Development. Photo by Matt Sloan

Jennifer Rodriguez is all smiles as she cuts the ribbon on the home she purchased from the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, which had renovated the home through a partnership with the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. Using money from the United States Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the Economic Development Agency and its community partners are renovating vacant, foreclosed homes and selling them at market price to homeowners making as much as $78,000 for a family of four. Photo by Chris Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Two years ago, the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency received $8.4 million from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Since then, the agency embarked on 43 projects to help San Bernardino’s neighborhoods, and has spent the money.

“That is important because it means the federal government can’t take it back,” said Mayor Patrick Morris. “More importantly, it shows that our city is committed to stabilizing our neighborhoods to make a better life for all of us.”

This fall, the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency will give a final report to the City Council on how it spent this money, after it tabulates the final purchases. At a recent meeting, Housing and Community Development Director Carey Jenkins reported on how it had spent the funds through March 31, 2010.

There are three components to San Bernardino’s neighborhood stabilization efforts:

  • Purchase, renovation and resale of single-family homes ($3.7 million)
  • Purchase and demolition of housing units to allow for future development ($1.3 million)
  • Subsidizing housing for families at or below 50 percent of the area’s average median income. These subsidies help families earning less than $32,250 for a family of four, more for larger families, less for smaller families. ($2.6 million)

Through the first three months of 2010, the Economic Development Agency acquired 19 housing properties. Since some are multiple-family apartments, they house 40 families.

The newly purchased property includes 13 homes the Economic Development Agency intends to renovate and resell, three fourplex apartment complexes that will be renovated and rented out through a partnership with Mary Erickson Community Housing, and three apartment complexes with 15 units total scheduled for demolition.

Now that San Bernardino’s money is obligated, the Economic Development Agency hopes the city will be eligible for a future allocation of these funds. It also hopes that if any other cities don’t spend all of their money by federally imposed deadlines, some of it could be re-allocated to San Bernardino.

For more information, call Carey Jenkins, director of housing and community development for the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, at (909) 633-1044.

-end-


08.20.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on What is Low-Income Housing?

What is Low-Income Housing?


The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s programs to assist moderate-income families, which are families making up to $78,000 a year for a family of four, allows homes like this one to be occupied and cared for, instead of part of the statistic of more than 5,000 vacant, foreclosed homes in the city. Photo courtesy of Oliver Lambert, Tarbell Realtors.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released new income guidelines for low and moderate-income housing. These guidelines help many families purchase homes for the first time, and in other cases, help working adults and senior citizens afford decent places to live.

“There are many myths about low income and affordable housing. Many people think they know what it means but they really don’t,” said Carey Jenkins, director of housing and community development for the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

“The truth is a family of four with a total annual household income between $33,000 to $53,000, which is 50 percent to 80 percent of the Inland Empire area’s median income, is considered low-income according to HUD. That defines a lot of people in the Inland Empire,” Jenkins said.

Here is more information:

What is the average income of the residents of the City of San Bernardino?

The average annual income of residents in the City of San Bernardino is $31,140. However, this not the income calculation used to determine housing income for federal or state funding or rental purposes. The income used is the Metropolitan Service Area or MSA data established by HUD. The City of San Bernardino’s area is defined as the Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area, where the annual median income for a family of four is $65,000.

So, when the City of San Bernardino talks about low income, it is using the federally defined annual median income for a family of four of $65,000.

What are Annual Income and Median Income and how do they work?

Annual income is the total household income for everyone working for one year. The income calculation used to determine housing income for federal or state funding or rental purposes is the Metropolitan Service Area or MSA, created by The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for comparison of income and other reasons.

The Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area consists of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Because of higher income, cost of living (including the cost of housing) is higher in some parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Cities with a higher cost of living include Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, Redlands, Upland, Montclair, Chino, Chino Hills, Corona, Menifee and Temecula.

What is low-income housing?

Low-income housing includes those households making between 50 percent and 80 percent of an area’s median income. In the Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area, that’s between $33,500 and $53,000 for a family of four.

Very low-income housing is usually designed for families earning below 50 percent of the area’s annual median income, currently $32,500 for a family of four in the Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area. A larger family can make even more, while smaller families and individuals qualify with lower incomes.

College students, teachers, butchers, bakers, executive secretaries, truck drivers, teachers, cashiers, administrative assistants, restaurant servers, hosts, dishwashers, psychiatric aides, house cleaners, telemarketers, file clerks, gaming dealers, bartenders and people in 347 job categories of skilled, semi-skilled and professional workers may fall into this category, depending on their experience and family size.

What does affordable housing mean?

Affordable Housing” is defined as housing for low to moderate-income households. Moderate-income households are defined, as households having annual incomes between 80 percent and 120 percent of the Metropolitan Service Area’s median income. For our area that is an annual income of up to $78,000 for a family of four. Again, larger families can make even more, while smaller families and individuals qualify with lower incomes.

This category includes almost everyone, including college graduates working in the fields for which they are trained and in many cases, experienced.

Very few professions offer starting salaries above $54,600, the upper limit for moderate incomes for one person in the Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area. Since many people marry and/or start families prior to achieving this level of income, they qualify as “moderate income” with larger incomes.

“Low and moderate income people are our friends and neighbors,” said Carey.

For more information, call Carey Jenkins at (909) 663-1044.

The City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency enhances the quality of life for the citizens of San Bernardino by creating jobs, eliminating blight, supporting culture and the arts, developing quality housing and Stainless Steel Container, and attracting and assisting businesses.

-end-

SAN BERNARDINO AREA MEDIAN INCOME (BASE = $65,000 For Family of 4)

Family Size: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Extremely Low (30 percent) $13,650 $15,600 $17,750 $19,500 $21,100 $22,650 $24,200 $25,750
Very Low (50 percent) $22,750 $26,000 $29,250 $32,500 $35,100 $37,000 $40,300 $42,900
Low Income (80 percent) $36,400 $41,600 $46,800 $52,000 $56,200 $60,350 $64,500 $68,650
Median Income $45,500 $52,000 $58,500 $65,000 $70,200 $75,400 $80,600 $85,800
Moderate Income (120 percent) $54,600 $62,400 $70,200 $78,000 $84,250 $90,500 $96,700 $102,950

Source: State of California Department of Housing and Community Development

08.13.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Rikke Van Johnson’s Childhood Home Lovingly Renovated

Rikke Van Johnson’s Childhood Home Lovingly Renovated

Jennifer Rodriguez, new owner of a home San Bernardino Ward Six Council Member Rikke Van Johnson lived in many years ago, cuts the ribbon as local dignitaries watch. The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches and the San Bernardino Economic Development Association have partnered to renovate foreclosed, vacant homes such as the one Rodriguez purchased. Since Rodriguez’ home was the first this partnership renovated, the Redevelopment Agency held a ribbon-cutting ceremony upon completion of the home and transfer to Rodriguez. No one, including Johnson, realized this had been the council member’s home until the day of this ceremony. Photo by Chris Sloan

Jennifer Rodriguez, San Bernardino Ward Six Councilman Rikke Van Johnson and San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris smile in the kitchen of Rodriguez’ new home, where Johnson lived as a child. Many years after Johnson lived there, the home became vacant through foreclosure. The Inland Empire Concerned African-American Churches renovated this home through a partnership with the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, then sold it to Rodriguez. The partnership is now in the process of renovating additional homes which can be sold to families such as Rodriguez’. Photo by Chris Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) More than 50 years ago, San Bernardino Ward Six Council Member Rikke Van Johnson lived in a home in the 1500 block of Virginia Street. The home and the neighborhood have gone through many changes since then. Recently, that home received loving renovation by a group of people who like their council member, but were doing the work for a much higher authority.

“We did all this to bring glory to God,” said Pastor Owosu Hodari. “God has challenged us to help our community and bring hope to them.”

Pastor Hodari is the project manager for the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches Community Development Corporation, which partnered with and the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency to renovate the home. Prior to the renovation, the home had become vacant through a foreclosure.

This is the first home this partnership renovated, but both entities now expect it to become the first of many. The partnership recently acquired two other vacant, foreclosed Ward Six homes to renovate in the very near future.

On July 1, the Concerned Churches and the Economic Development Agency held a Key Ceremony to turn the Virginia Street home over to its new owner, Jennifer Rodriguez, a single mother and medical billing specialist. No one, including Johnson, realized this had been his childhood home until the day of this ceremony.

Johnson still lives in the area. He spent most of his childhood years in a house near the one the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches renovated, and had almost forgotten the earlier residence.

“When I was walking through this house before this ceremony, certain memories came back to me and I realized this was the house I lived in when I was four years old,” he said. “Jennifer, you are going to love this house. I certainly did when I was a child. And I’m really awed that it is this house the Inland Empire African American Churches has renovated.”

“Because of what everyone who had a hand in building this has done, I have an opportunity to start my life over in a beautiful place,” said Rodriguez, who had been saving money for several years to buy her own home.

Rodriguez was able to purchase her new home for $76,000, which is approximately the market rate in the neighborhood for a two-bedroom, one-bath home. The renovation effort included replacing the kitchen cabinets, installing granite countertops, tile floors, new carpets, paint, and new exterior trim and landscaping,.

“This looks really good,” said Aaron Morrow, who has lived in his house on the same block of Virginia Street for the last 52 years. “It’s what we need.”

The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches was able to restore the home with a subsidy from the Economic Development Agency, which the agency had received as part of a $3.7 million grant from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Congress members Joe Baca and Jerry Lewis helped ensure San Bernardino received this grant, and are now working to help the city obtain additional money.

The Economic Development Agency used its Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant to buy, and refurbish vacant, foreclosed homes and sell them to families making up to $78,000 yearly for a family of four. Families with more than four members would be allowed to make even more, while individuals and families of less than four people qualify with lower incomes.

Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches also operates a training program to teach young adults ages 18-26 the construction trades. This program assists licensed contractors in the Economic Development Agency’s renovation projects, and gives the participants the construction skills to help them earn money, which will, in time, allow them to buy their own homes.

“The renovation of this home was the launch of our partnership with the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches,” said Carey Jenkins, housing and community development director for the Economic Development Agency. “We are working together to redevelop this community for a positive impact on it and its residents.”

Another local leader attending the Key Ceremony was Mayor Patrick Morris. While he doesn’t have the personal connection to the home Johnson does, watching the Inland Empire Concerned African American Church restore this home brought to mind happy memories for him as well.

The Mayor told how, some years ago, he met former United States President Jimmy Carter on one of Carter’s visits to the Inland Empire. He asked the former president what opportunities for service gave him the most joy, and Carter told him it was traveling around the world with Habitat For Humanity, which builds homes and helps neighborhoods globally.

“The next week I received an invitation from him in the mail to join him with Habitat for Humanity in Matamos, Mexico,” Mayor Morris said. “My wife and I went down there, and we were joined by 1,200 of his closest friends, where we built 110 houses in a week.”

“The thankfulness of those people to have a house with water and sewer and electric lamps instead of just kerosene was amazing. So, when we came back, we put an advertisement in the local newspaper to start a Habitat for Humanity in San Bernardino, and 500 people joined us to build houses here.”

“When we turned our first house over, the new homeowner went up to the microphone and yelled WHOOPEE! That said it all. Pastor Hodari, we built 32 houses in the four years before I became mayor. I challenge you to renovate 32 houses in the next four years.”

Morris noted that Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches actually has a more difficult task than does Habitat for Humanity. Because Habitat for Humanity relies entirely on private donations, it doesn’t have to comply with many regulations that Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches does with its Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds.

The Mayor also noted that Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds can only be used for improving housing in a city.

The Economic Development Agency also seeks to partner with other local entities whose members have construction skills. It also can work directly with builders, contractors and developers.

The agency has purchased a total of 84 homes that it can sell to families making as little as $35,000 a year or as much as $78,000 (more to families of more than four.)

According to Bank of America, one of several lenders the Economic Development Agency can help connect with potential homebuyers, with a $7,000 down payment and a 5.3 percent interest rate on a 30-year fixed interest rate loan, the monthly loan payment would be $722.

“That’s about where rents are today,” Jenkins said. “But rents will go up, while this loan payment would stay the same throughout the life of the loan.”

The agency also offers a Homeowners Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides up to a 10 percent down payment for those who qualify. For a $100,000 home that would be up to $10,000 to help purchase the home.

To purchase one of the homes rehabilitated with Neighborhood Stabilization funds, or take advantage of the Homeowners Down Payment Assistance Program to help with the purchase of many San Bernardino homes, buyers must attend Homebuyer Education courses offered monthly by the NID-Housing Counseling Agency, or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, both HUD-approved agencies.

For more information or a list of available homes through the Inland Empire Concerned African-American Churches program please call Pastor Ray Turner at (909) 663 0198.

For more information on the Homeowners’ Assistance Program call the NID-Housing Counseling Agency at (909) 887-8700 or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, Inc. at (909) 884-6891.

-end-

07.15.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on 10 Percent Down Payment Assistance Is Here

10 Percent Down Payment Assistance Is Here

This particular house recently sold, but there are many other attractive homes available for purchase in San Bernardino. Buyers making up to $78,000 for a family of four can purchase homes like these with up to 10 percent down payment assistance through a program offered by the San Bernardino Economic Development Association.  Photo by Chris Sloan

(San Bernardino, Calif.) Families making up to $78,000 for a family of four, and more for larger families, qualify for down payment assistance and a low-interest loan from the City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency.

“The best way to get rid of foreclosed homes in San Bernardino is for families to buy them and live in them,” said Emil Marzullo, director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. “ It seems simple, but with home prices down to an average of $70,000 there has never been a better time for families to buy a home.”

The Homeowners’ Assistance Program provides first time homebuyers with up to 10 percent of the home purchase price. For a $100,000 house that amount would be $10,000; for a $200,000 house the amount is $20,000.

The down payment assistance is a forgivable loan, offered at 3 percent interest.  The loan, plus a portion of the equity, would be due and payable if the homeowner sold or transferred title to another buyer, refinanced to cash out equity, or converted the home to a rental using tips for transferring structured settlement.

Some qualifications are:

1. Purchase a home within the city limits of San Bernardino.

2. Make a cash investment of $1,000 towards the purchase price of the home.

3. Earn less than $78,000 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size).

Those who can meet the qualifications may attend Homebuyer Education courses offered monthly.

The courses are open to everyone. All or part of the courses are required for borrowers with FHA loans, and for participants in other cities and San Bernardino County’s down payment assistance programs.

“Even if you are not participating in a down payment assistance program, you will want to know the process if you are buying a home,” said Linda Jackson, manager of the Inland Empire NID-Housing Counseling Agency. “Buying a home is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make.”

With the down payment assistance, the lower cost to potential homeowners can make the difference between affording a home and remaining a renter.

“Lower home prices make housing more affordable,” Marzullo said. “A family making $35,000 a year can afford to buy a $140,000 home.”

According to Bank of America, with a $7,000 down payment and a 5.298 percent annual interest rate, on a 30-year fixed interest rate loan the payment would be $724.17 monthly.

The San Bernardino County Housing Authority says market rent for a three-bedroom apartment is about $1,425 a month.  That means buying a home with a fixed mortgage so that monthly payments never increase can save a homeowner thousands of dollars a year over rent payments.

“We also know from experience that this housing price drop won’t last forever. Home values in San Bernardino will appreciate again at a more normal 1 to 3 percent a year.  That increase in home value builds family wealth that can be used in the future for children’s college education or retirement,” said Marzullo.

For more information on the Homeowners’ Assistance Program call the NID-Housing Counseling Agency at (909) 887-8700 or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, Inc. at (909) 884-6891.

-end-

07.06.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Eastpointe Village Begins Neighborhood Renewal

Eastpointe Village Begins Neighborhood Renewal

Treyshawn Jackson, 8, leads the pledge of allegiance as Eastpointe Village is dedicated in his neighborhood. San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris, San Bernardino Economic Development Agency Housing and Community Services Director Carey Jackson were among those participating in the dedication ceremony. Photo by Matt Sloan

Susan McDevitt, executive director of Mary Erickson Community Housing and San Bernardino Mayor  Patrick Morris cut the ribbon on Eastpoint Village as representatives from the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, the federal Housing and Urban Development, Mary Erickson Community Housing and the San Manuel Band of Indians watch. Photo by Matt Sloan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) A fourplex building on 19th Street, now home to four new families is, by far, the nicest looking building on its block. But it’s also a symbol of what the neighborhood will be.

2194 19th Street is the first building in Eastpointe Village, the new housing developed by community development organization Mary Erickson Housing in partnership with the San Bernardino Economic Development Association. Eventually, Eastpointe Village will encompass 25 of the fourplexes in this neighborhood near Richardson Prep Academy, providing quality housing to the lowest-income residents of San Bernardino.

“Families will seek out this location, because it will be a beautiful place to live,” said San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris. “We hope our partnership with Mary Erickson Community Housing can provide many more opportunities to renew neighborhoods and provide affordable housing.”

“We are pleased to work with the City of San Bernardino,” said Doug Bystry, president of the Mary Erickson Community Housing board. “We are proud of this project, because of its commitment to the entire neighborhood.”

During a grand opening of Eastpointe Village held recently, Mayor Morris noted the sounds of small children from the neighborhood at the ceremony, and of a bulldozer across the street, tearing down another building.

“These babies are our future,” Mayor Morris said. “The tearing down of blighted, mold-infested, rat-infested apartments symbolizes our past.” If we tear down affordable low-cost housing, we must rebuild and provide that same population new opportunities.”

The demolition of buildings on the other side of 19th Street, and on both sides of Sunrise Street a block south, will make room for a senior apartment complex, and when market prices improve, 50 to 55 single-family homes that will be sold to families making low and moderate income, currently up to $77,400 for a family of four.

Families of four making up to $32,250 yearly will qualify to live in Eastpointe Village. Larger families would be allowed to make more, while individuals and families of less than four qualify with lower incomes.

Two-bedroom apartments in Eastpointe Village lease for $646 monthly. Three bedrooms lease for $743. A government subsidy for low income renters allows Mary Erickson Community Housing to charge these below-market rates.

The newly refurbished apartments feature new kitchen appliances, and cabinets, granite countertops, new carpeting in the bedrooms, vinyl wood-grained plank flooring in the living room, tile in the kitchen and entry, central air conditioning, and a wall of storage space in the hall as well as large closets in the bedrooms.

In July 2009, the San Bernardino Economic Development Association selected Mary Erickson Community Housing as its partner in the redevelopment of this neighborhood through a competitive application process.

Mary Erickson Community Housing is a non-profit agency specializing in housing, with greater capacity than the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency for rehabilitating and professionally managing apartments for low to moderate-income families.

Mary Erickson Community Housing was founded in 1991.  Its namesake was a retired schoolteacher who was devoted to the principals of community participation and well being.

Since it began the partnership with the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, Mary Erickson Community Housing has acquired 10 of the 25 fourplexes slated for rehabilitation. 2194 19th Street was one of the first, and Mary Erickson Community Housing hired San Bernardino general contractor Chris Marshall, who began renovating this building in February at a cost of about $210,000.

A $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, plus $1 million in funds from the San Bernardino Economic Development Association is funding the entire Eastpointe Village project. This covers purchasing the property from individual owners, relocating displaced residents, and the renovation of each of the 25 fourplexes.

Mary Erickson Community Housing has offered applications to many of the neighborhood residents, who will qualify to live in Eastpointe Village if they meet income requirements and pass background screenings. Residents of Eastpointe Village must comply with rental agreements designed to keep the neighborhood safe and attractive.

Mary Erickson Community Housing also provides life skills education to help all residents gain skills to better manage their families and finances.

“Our goal is to help these residents move either to home ownership or renting unsubsidized housing,” said Susan McDevitt, executive director of Mary Erickson Community Housing.

Mary Erickson Community Housing established its first affordable housing complex in San Clemente and has since grown to include multiple properties serving hundreds of diverse, hard working, low income families in Southern California including: Moreno Valley, Corona, Loma Linda, Riverside and now San Bernardino.

Qualified families who wish to lease an apartment as Eastpointe Village may call (909) 543-8237, or visit 2194 E. 19th Street.

For more information on this project call the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044 and ask for Sam Hughes.

Media:  If you would like any of the photos in the slide show below please send an email to Chris@DameronCommunications.com with the photo id number and i will have it to you within 24 hours.  If you require the photo sooner please call Chris Sloan at (909) 888-0017.

-end-

07.06.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Demolition A Step In Neighborhood Transformation

Demolition A Step In Neighborhood Transformation

A bulldozer tears into 2165 E 19th Street, the first of 46 dilapidated fourplexes in the neighborhood to be torn down. Photo by Yee-Kong Yang
Mayor Patrick Morris discusses the city’s plans for the 19th & Sunrise neighborhood of San Bernardino as a bulldozer tears down the first of 46 dilapidated fourplexes slated for demolition. Photo by Yee-Kong Yang
Within two hours of the start of demolition, all that remained of 2165 E. 19th Street was a pile of rubble. Photo by Yee-Kong Yang

 

(San BERNARDINO, Calif.) A demolition project taking place in northeast San Bernardino shows the city’s commitment to fighting urban decay.

The demolition began recently when the first of four fourplexes of apartments near 19th and Sunrise went down in a public ceremony, plowed into by a large backhoe capable of reaching above the two-story building. Within two hours, the backhoe had reduced the apartment building to a pile of rubble.

“This marks a milestone for us as we look to remove the physical blight of these apartments,” said Carey Jenkins, director of housing and community services for the San Bernardino City Economic Development Association. “It is our expectation that this will bring in a new era in San Bernardino housing.”

Jenkins’ optimism is because the torn-down fourplex is part of a plan already in the works to replace 244 apartments in the area of 19th and Sunrise streets near Richardson Prep Academy with approximately 200 new and better dwellings, some of which will be single-family homes.

The city will in the next few years eliminate 46 fourplexes, or 184 apartments. As some time in the future, it will replace these with a senior citizen apartment complex and, when the housing demand returns, 50-55 single-family homes.

The remaining apartments, which are on the opposite side of 19th Street and on Sunrise behind Richardson Prep, are not being torn down. Instead, they are being completely rehabilitated by the non-profit community development organization Mary Erickson Community Housing, which will then rent to carefully screened and qualified families making up to $32,250 a year for a family of four.

Families with more than four people would be allowed to make even more, while individuals and families of less than four people qualify with lower incomes.

Rabbi Hillel Cohn, in giving an invocation for the demolition ceremony, noted that back in the 1970s, he and his wife had lived in one of the fourplexes now slated for demolition. In those days, the fourplexes were filled with young professional couples and families like the Cohns, as well as older people who had retired there.

“Many of our finest city residents lived here,” Mayor Patrick Morris said. “It was, at one time, a remarkably wonderful property.”

“Then life changed,” Mayor Morris continued. “As the older retirees passed away and the younger families moved on, these units were sold to folks known as absentee landlords, which means that they did not live here, but rented their units out to other people. Many of them did not oversee their units; they did not carefully maintain them.  As a result, we now have a horrible blight.”

The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency provides relocation assistance to all families who are displaced by the demolition or rehabilitation of their apartments.

Even though many of them live in the apartments that will eventually be torn down, current residents of the neighborhood are optimistic the change coming to their neighborhood will be good. They note that Mayor Morris has already helped the neighborhood by initiating increased patrol through Operation Phoenix.

“In one of these buildings that is already boarded up, the roaches were so bad, if you went inside, you would see them falling off the ceiling,” said Robert Boyd. “In one of the apartments, the toilet pipe had broken underneath the living room, and all the sewage had gone under the carpet.  It molded and started to stink so bad the people had to leave.”

“New places with better screening will help,” said resident Martha Emmitt. “Already, it has been months since I saw drug deals transpire, or heard gunfire. I feel this is due largely to the efforts by the City of San Bernardino, in particular, the mayor’s Operation Phoenix.”

Mary Erickson Community Housing recently completed the rehabilitation of its first fourplex, and four families are now settling into that building. The organization hopes to have 12 fourplexes, with 48 apartments, rehabilitated by the end of 2010.

For more information on this project call the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 963-5020 and ask for Sam Hughes.









If you would like any of the photos in the slide show below please send an email to Chris@DameronCommunications.com with the photo id number and i will have it to you within 24 hours.  If you require the photo sooner please call Chris Sloan at (909) 888-0017.

For more info on vacuum deposition, visit vtcmag.com

-end-

06.24.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Black Pastors Improve Housing Through Rehab Projects

Black Pastors Improve Housing Through Rehab Projects

While bulldozing apartment buildings in some neighborhoods is part of San Bernardino’s economic revitalization strategy, there are many single-family homes in the city that simply need rehabilitation. One of the alcohol rehab center organizations helping with the rehabilitation of these homes is the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches, through its Community  Development Department, which was founded by Pastor Raymond Turner, second from left. Pastor Turner’s organization is supported by the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency (represented here by Housing & Community Development Director Carey Jenkins) and the City of San Bernardino (represented here by Mayor Patrick Morris), and state leaders such as Sheila Futch, senior field representative to Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter, are also enthusiastic about the effort. Photo by Yee-Kong Yang

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) Families of four making up to $78,000 a year can afford their own homes through a partnership of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency and the Inland  Empire Concerned African American Churches.

“We rehabilitate vacant foreclosed homes in the City of San Bernardino, and then sell them to buyers who will live in the homes,” said Pastor Raymond Turner, co-founder and past president of the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches.

For San Bernardino and the rest of the Inland Empire, the definition of low-income for a family of four is less than $52,100 a year, and for moderate income, up to $78,000. Families with more than four members would be allowed to make even more, while individuals and families of less than four people qualify with lower incomes.

These definitions are based on the average household incomes of the entire population of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Anyone who wants to find out the income limitations for their specific family size should contact the NID Housing Counseling Agency at (909) 888-8700 and ask for Linda Jackson, or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, Inc. at (909) 884-6891.

With financial help from the Economic Development Agency, the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches is able to put its Community Development Department’s building expertise into renovations that turn forlorn houses into highly desirable places to live.

“We don’t just paint and patch,” Pastor Turner said. “Our first project, which is nearly finished, is an older home in like-new condition. We want the houses we rehabilitate to be the best house on their block. That way, we can improve the City of San Bernardino’s property values, and in doing so, make our community a better place.”

The nearly finished renovation project is a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house on Virginia Street, near Community Hospital of San Bernardino. The Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches has replaced the roof, walls, floor coverings and electrical systems, installed new kitchen and bathroom fixtures and new kitchen cabinets, erected a new fence around the yard, and planted new landscaping.

“We’re looking forward to selling that house and beginning the process of revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Pastor Turner said. “In all, we plan to work with the Economic Development Agency to rehabilitate as many houses as we can. Our goal is to grow our organization and capacity to rehab as many houses as the city can allocate.”

The project manager is Pastor Owosu Hodari, who is also the senior pastor of Predestined In Christ Ministries, but previously worked for 20 years in construction and project management.

Joining him are others in the member churches with certified construction experience. The group is also developing a training program in construction for young adults ages 18-26, and those people will receive skills training by working on these foreclosed homes.

Rehabilitating foreclosed homes is the latest of many service projects the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches has developed to improve the community since its formation in 2000. Others include:

· An annual health fair focusing on health problems of African-Americans
· The “Pastors on the Premise” program at Arroyo, San Bernardino, Cajon and Pacific high schools, in which pastors visit the campuses to encourage and mentor children. The program has reduced violence on these campuses, and others where the pastors previously established a presence:

· The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day prayer breakfast
· The Community Plea Program, in which the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches works with San Bernardino County District Attorney and Public Defender offices to work out pleas for misdemeanors and minor infractions, whereby the offender may perform community service in lieu of jail time or fines.

In all, the agency is allocating $3.7 million of Neighborhood Stabilization funds to empower agency-approved companies like the Inland Empire Concerned African-American Churches to purchase and rehabilitate a portion of about 5,000 foreclosed properties in San Bernardino.

“There are not enough locally-based developers with the experience and the ability to rehabilitate the large number of foreclosures we have in this city” said Carey Jenkins, director of Housing and Community Development for the Economic Development Agency. “There are several community development corporations in the city. We want to work with them to help increase their internal capacity to help revitalize our neighborhoods.”

The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency’s Neighborhood Stabilization program is also working with other entities besides Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches. These companies have been retained through a Request for Proposals/Qualifications (“RFP”) process and are checked by agency staff and approved by the City Council. The others are community development corporations, builders, developers and contractors.

Upon rehabilitation, the homes will be made available for purchase to qualifying households who make less than $78,000 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size). Expected home sales prices are from $75,000 to $25,000.

Buyers can also use the agency’s Homeowners Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides up to a 10 percent down payment for those who qualify. For a $100,000 home that would be up to $10,000 to help purchase the home.

To purchase one of the homes rehabilitated with Neighborhood Stabilization funds, or take advantage of the Homeowners Down Payment Assistance Program to help with the purchase of many San Bernardino homes, buyers must attend Homebuyer Education courses offered monthly by the NID-Housing Counseling Agency, or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, both HUD-approved agencies.

Pastor Turner encourages anyone with any interest in buying a home in San Bernardino to sign up for at least the introductory session of the Homebuyer Education courses, even if they think they wouldn’t qualify to buy a home.

“Many times, because of their credit situation or income, people think they can’t qualify to buy a home,” he said. “But this program is designed for low-income people and the Homebuyer Education courses will help them understand the home buying and ownership process.”

“Even if now is not the right time to buy a home, it is good for people to have their paperwork in order, and have their credit secured,” Pastor Turner said. “By the time they have all that together, it may be that they can qualify.”

For more information or a list of available homes through the Inland Empire Concerned African-American Churches program please call Pastor Ray Turner at (909) 663 0198.

For more information on the Homeowners’ Assistance Program call the NID-Housing Counseling Agency at (909) 887-8700 or the Neighborhood Housing Service of the Inland Empire, Inc. at (909) 884-6891.

-end-