SBEDA

01.26.2010 SBEDA Comments Off on Rehabilitation Begins In February at 19th and Sunrise

Rehabilitation Begins In February at 19th and Sunrise

The blue areas on this map show where rehabilitation work begins in February.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  San Bernardino contactor Chris Marshall will begin rehabilitation in February on two 19th Street multi-family units recently acquired by the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. 

The units, in what is known as the 19th and Sunrise area, are part of a larger project the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency has undertaken to reduce blight in the area.

“The 19th and Sunrise area has a history of police and code enforcement involvement and which has brought down the value of the surrounding community,” said Emil Marzullo, interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency. “This project we are about to embark on will create attractive and affordable housing options, which will be a plus for all of San Bernardino.”
The two four-plexes soon to be rehabilitated will have newly remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, new carpeting and doors, new roofs, windows, decks and lawns. Walls, electrical fixtures, heating and air conditioning units and fireplaces will be repaired and brought up to current building codes.
On the outside, covered parking areas, laundry rooms, stucco, sidewalks and second floor walkways will be repaired.
The Economic Development Agency is in the process of buying 61 multi-family four-plexes at 19th and Sunrise, which currently contain 244 apartment units. Of these, 36 of the apartment buildings will be demolished, while 25 buildings containing 100 apartments will be rehabilitated.
When the agency’s project is complete, it will contain 100 newly refurbished apartments, which will be rented out by Mary Erickson Community Housing. On the land where the apartments targeted for demolition now stand, the Economic Development Agency plans to build single-family homes and new apartments designed for senior citizens.
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 acquiring, rehabilitating and professionally managing apartments for low to moderate-income families.
Agency staff has determined the best method for acquiring, rehabilitating and operating apartments for rent would be through a qualified non-profit housing developer that could perform all of these functions on the agency’s behalf. The agency selected Mary Erickson Community Housing through a competitive application process.
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. The company 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.
When complete the 19th Street and Sunrise area will have:
  • 100 units of rental apartments for families of four that make up to $53,300 a year.
  • 40 – 55 single family homes for sale to families of four who make up to $77,400 a year.
  • 65 units of senior apartments for rent to households that make up to $42,650 a year for a family of two.
Preventing future multiple owners
A major problem with the area is that it has changed owners several times over the years. When it was built there was one owner of the 61 multifamily four-plexes. “The owner had the resources to maintain the properties in good condition, rent to good people and evict those who were not,” said Marzullo.
“About 20 years ago that company sold the multiplexes and now we have many different owners with many different standards for renting,” he added. “Some have no regard for their properties and have allowed them to decline into unlivable conditions. A number of the properties are rented to people who cannot rent anywhere else.  Some are forced to pay firstclass rents of $1,200 or more a month for very poor quality housing.
To make sure therental apartments can never be sold to multiple owners and create unsafe and unregulated conditions again, when SBEDA completes its purchase of the area, it will change the deeds to convert them into two large individual parcels.
• 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th Street will become one complete parcel.
• 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane will become one complete parcel.
Current and Future Residents
Current residents will be asked to apply to live in the newly renovated apartments. Mary Erickson Community Housing will have active on-site management, new rental agreements and new rules 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.
For its investment with Mary Erickson Community Housing for the apartments, the agency will receive half (50 percent) of any “surplus cash flow” after all operating expenses and debt service payments have been made on each property acquired, rehabilitated and placed into service by Mary Erickson Community Housing.
For more information on this project call the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 963-5020 and ask for Sam Hughes.
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10.25.2009 SBEDA Comments Off on What is low-income housing?

What is low-income housing?

An example of low income housing in the city of San Bernardino.


(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  “There are many myths about low in come and affordable housing. Many people think they know what it means but they really don’t,” said Emil Marzullo, interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

The truth is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says that 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.


“That defines a lot of people in the Inland Empire,” Marzullo said.


Here are more definitions.


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 $28,741.   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. 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 $64,500.


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 $64,500.


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?
Monthly rent or housing payments of up to $1,334 for a family of four qualifies as low-income housing in the Riverside-Ontario-San Bernardino Metropolitan Service Area.


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 $53,000 to $79,920 for a family of four.


Who are low-income households?
A family of four with a total annual household income from $33,000 to $53,000 is considered low-income.


People with low income include: about 30,000 local university and college students, 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 347 job categories of skilled, semi-skilled and professional workers.


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


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10.25.2009 SBEDA Comments Off on EDA Set to demolish up to 184 apartments

EDA Set to demolish up to 184 apartments

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  “The 19th and Sunrise area has a history of police and code enforcement involvement and is a blighting influence on the surrounding community,” said Emil Marzullo, interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

A major problem with the area is that it has changed owners over the years. When it was built there was one owner of the 61 multifamily fourplexes.  The owner had the resources to maintain the properties in good condition, rent to good people and evict those who were not,” said Marzullo.


“About 20 years ago that company sold the multiplexes and now we have many different owners with many different standards for renting,” he added. “Some have no regard for their properties and have allowed them to decline into unlivable conditions. A number of the properties are rented to people who cannot rent anywhere else.  Some are forced to pay first class rents of $1,200 or more a month for very poor quality housing.”


The redevelopment agency and the San Bernardino City Council have agreed the time is right to immediately stabilize the area of the city adversely affected by this poorly maintained and operated residential housing complex.


The agency’s plan is to use a non-profit housing developer to purchase and rehabilitate 100 units of apartments for rent.  The agency is purchasing the remaining 46 four-plex buildings, with up to 184 apartments set for demolition.


The vacant land will be used to build new single family housing and senior housing in the next few years as the housing market improves.


There are currently 244 low-income apartment units within 61 fourplexes and 10 vacant lots at the 19th and Sunrise project area.


When complete the 19th Street and Sunrise area will have:
•    100 units of rental apartments for families of four that make up to $53,300 a year.
•    40 – 55 single family homes for sale to families of four who make up to $77,400 a year.
•    65 units of senior apartments for rent to households that make up to $42,650 a year for a family of two. 


The end result will deliver 205 to 215 units of housing – 144 fewer apartments and 31 to 41 fewer housing units than when the agency started.


Agency staff has determined the best method for acquiring, rehabilitating and operating apartments for rent would be through a non-profit company that could perform all of these functions on the agency’s behalf. The agency selected Mary Erickson Community Housing 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. The company 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.
Preventing future multiple owners
To make sure the rental apartments can never be sold to multiple owners and create unsafe and unregulated conditions again, as the properties are purchased the deeds will be changed to make them each one parcel.
• 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th Street will become one complete parcel.
• 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane will become one complete parcel.

Current and Future Residents
Current residents will be asked to apply to live in the newly renovated apartments. Mary Erickson Community Housing will have active on site management, new rental agreements and new rules 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.


Phase 1
Currently, Mary Erickson Community Housing is purchasing the vacant, foreclosed and boarded up properties in the19th and Sunrise area.


Mary Erickson Community Housing has already acquired three properties and expects to begin construction in the coming weeks to rehabilitate those apartments. Phase 1 is complete when the 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th street and the 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane are acquired and rehabilitated. 


For its investment with Mary Erickson Community Housing for the apartments, the agency will receive half (50 percent) of any “surplus cash flow” after all operating expenses and debt service payments have been made on each property acquired, rehabilitated and placed into service by Mary Erickson Community Housing.


Phase 2
Concurrently, the agency is also purchasing properties in the area bounded by 19th Street to the north, Sunrise Lane to the south, Guthrie to the east and Argyle to the west. These properties will be acquired and demolished. The initial cost to the agency is $1.6 million.


Phase 3
When cleared and available the agency will prepare 12 parcels of the land for senior housing and issue a request for proposal to build 65 units of senior apartments. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds.


Phase 4
In the future as housing demand returns the agency will issue a request for proposals to build 40 – 55 single family homes. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds. The number of homes depends on the lot size for the homes.


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


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10.16.2009 SBEDA Comments Off on San Bernardino’s $36.7 Million City Housing Plan

San Bernardino’s $36.7 Million City Housing Plan

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) In recent months the nation and The City of San Bernardino have been rocked by financial and economic challenges that have severely affected the employment in our city.

The housing market has crashed.  Home prices have declined by more than half (53.18 percent) from one year ago, according to a DataQuick Survey for July 2009.  Recent trends show home sales and home prices showing a slight increase however, the housing industry was the region’s number one employer. Many companies have laid off employees and in too many cases, gone out of business.

“That has put good people with great jobs out of work,” said Emil Marzullo, the interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.  He added, “Our unemployment rate has gone from a low of 4.5 percent in 2006 to a little more than 14.5 percent today.  That means 3 out of every 20 people are out of work.”

Our incomes have declined significantly. “Some of our unemployed friends and neighbors have found new jobs and some of them haven’t.” Marzullo said. “Some of our friends and neighbors are receiving unemployment insurance.  That insurance pays about half of their previous salary up to $1,935 a month in payments.”  

People who earned more than $3,891 a month can receive much less than half their previous income.  Losing half your salary or more can mean real problems meeting financial obligations. 

As we have heard many times, the root of our problem was easy to get sub-prime mortgages.  These mortgages started with low interest rates and low payments.  These low payments became larger payments in as little as six months.  Within two years these low payments became even larger payments, often too large for people to pay.

During the dramatic increase in home sales and home prices, driven by easy credit at high rates, sub-prime mortgages increased by five times (from 4.5 percent to 20 percent) according to Inside Mortgage Finance, 2007. 

According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in 2006 a little less than half (44.2 percent) of loans made in San Bernardino were sub-prime mortgages.  In some areas of San Bernardino more than half (59 percent) were sub-prime mortgages.

This has led to San Bernardino having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) our area has the second highest foreclosure rate in California, about 3 out of every 25 homes or 11.8 percent.

RealtyTrac, an Irvine based company that tracks foreclosures nationwide, shows 4,327 foreclosed properties in San Bernardino from January 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. Foreclosures have dramatically affected every ward in San Bernardino.


Current Number of Foreclosed Homes in San Bernardino 

But the foreclosure problem isn’t over yet. HUD projects that the City of San Bernardino still has a little less than half of its current mortgages (44.2 percent) as sub-prime mortgages.  HUD rates the risk of foreclosure and abandonment on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being worst.

According to HUD the city of San Bernardino averages a 9.2 risk factor with a projected average citywide foreclosure and abandonment rate for the next 18 months of three out of every 25 homes (12 percent).

What Is The City of San Bernardino Doing To Fix Our Housing Market?“These problems have brought more problems and more opportunities.  To take advantage of the opportunities and to help stabilize the housing market The City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency has developed a very aggressive and well thought out plan to stabilize our housing market and help the entire city move forward,” said Marzullo.

On October 20, 2008, the agency’s Integrated Housing Strategy was approved by the city council acting as the Community Development Commission of the City of San Bernardino. 

“Included in the Strategy is the key goal of single-family homeownership and neighborhood revitalization, designed to enhance residential neighborhoods and promote home ownership,” said Marzullo.

He added, “We will help to meet this goal by reducing the harmful effects caused by our current foreclosure crisis.”

The City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency has marshaled its resources and sought to find additional funding.  “We are using $36.7 million for this plan.  $8.4 million from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program and $28.3 million from agency funds,” said Marzullo. 

Use of funds
EDA Fiscal Year 2009 – 2010 Budget Line Items
Expenditure Detail – Capital Expenses
Development Capital Expenses Housing Budget
Program Description
Amount
Utility Rebate Program Low Income
 $75,000
Old-timers
 140,000
Casa Ramona/Highland Standby Loan Guarantee
 360,000
49th Street Telacu property acquisition/relocation/demo
 500,000
Residential revitalization opportunities
 2,000,000
Single Family Beautification Grant NHS-3 yr annual
 2,100,000
5th and Meridian Project
 2,500,000
City Wide Housing Down Payment Assistance Program
 3,490,000
Highland and Medical Center Senior Housing
 4,400,000
Annual Notice of Funds Available
 6,000,000
HOME – Affordable Housing Projects
 6,943,186
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
 8,203,588
Total budgeted for housing projects
 $36,711,774

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds come from $3.92 billion authorized by Congress in 2008 as part of the stimulus programs to address abandoned and foreclosed residential properties nationwide.

“The agency has also applied for additional $9 million from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds and shall continue to explore opportunities and request funds to help fix San Bernardino’s economic and housing issues,” said Marzullo.

The Plan – An Integrated Housing Strategy
The agency has made many programs available to help San Bernardino residents:
1.    Exterior Beautification Grants providing up to $10,000 for homeowners in San Bernardino.
2.    $25,000 Single Family Rehabilitation Loans for homeowners in San Bernardino.
3.    10 percent down payment assistance to buy a home in San Bernardino.
4.    Buying, rehabilitating and selling foreclosed properties to homeowners.
5.    Purchasing and demolishing blighted and abandoned housing where crime is a problem.
6.    Receivership Program created to enhance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods.
7.    Annual notice of funding availability for large scale projects 
8.    Building 80 units of Senior housing at the South West corner Highland & Medical Center Drive by Meta Housing, Inc., to help revitalize the area.
9.    The demolition of up to 184 apartments from the 19th and Sunrise area and the selection of Mary Erickson Community Housing to acquire, rehabilitate and manage the remaining 100 units of rental apartments.

Program Descriptions:

1.    Beautification Grants provide up to $10,000 for homes in San Bernardino.
The bad news is that 3 in every 25 homes in the city have been foreclosed. The good news is that 22 homes in every 25 are still owned and occupied. To help those city residents improve the outside appearance of their homes and revitalize the city’s neighborhoods, homeowners can receive a grant of up to $10,000 per property for exterior home improvements. 

Before Beautification Grant

Homeowners can receive an additional $5,000 if they match the grant with the same amount of their own funds. Based on the homeowner’s match, the total beautification activity could equal a maximum of $20,000 per project ($15,000 in agency funds plus $5,000 in homeowner funds).

The Neighborhood Housing Service of The Inland Empire, Inc. (NHSIE) runs this program for the agency.

After Beautification Grant


These Beautification Grants can be used for:
•    New energy efficient window and front door replacements. 
•    New driveway or repairs.
•    New garage door
•    Exterior painting
•    New drought tolerant landscaping including automatic sprinklers and planting materials for the front yard only
•    New front yard fencing with wrought iron, vinyl, wood or block fencing
•    New parkway enhancements, i.e. stamped concrete, trees and drought tolerant landscape materials.

To be eligible to receive this grant you must:
1.    Be a resident of San Bernardino. 
2.    Make less than $77,400 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the area median income adjusted for family size).
3.    Have owned and lived in your home for at least one year and made that your principal place of residence.
4.    Complete a Beautification Grant application.
5.    Attend a property maintenance class created and given by The Neighborhood Housing Service of The Inland Empire, Inc. (NHSIE)
6.    Sign a ten-year maintenance covenant (an agreement added to your title) that says you will keep your property looking attractive.
7.    Agree to live in the house for at least one additional year as your principal place of residence.
8.    Homeowners cannot receive a Beautification Grant and a Single Family Rehabilitation Loan.

“This program is designed to help make our neighborhoods look and feel better,” said Marzullo. “The program has such a big demand that our partner has placed a hold on new applications. Because of the demand, the agency is looking for additional partners to allow us to take more applications and get more money into the hands of residents faster.”

San Bernardino City homeowners who want more information on Beautification Grants or to be put on the waiting list can call The Neighborhood Housing Service of The Inland Empire, Inc. (NHSIE) at (909) 884-6891. 

2.    $25,000 Single Family Rehabilitation Loans for homeowners in San Bernardino.
Beautification Grants make the outside of the home look great, but sometimes our homes need new roofs, have termite damage or need work inside the home.

To help homeowners with these problems the agency has a Single Family Rehabilitation Loan of up to $25,000, or 25 percent of the current fair market value of the home, whichever is less. The loan has a 3 percent simple interest rate and all payments are postponed until the homeowner sells or refinances the home.

 “This loan was created to help homeowners keep their homes in good repair without increasing the financial burden that could make them lose their homes,” said Marzullo.

“This is a program that helps to stop foreclosures by fixing problems before they become too much for a homeowner to handle,” he added.

These Single Family Rehabilitation Loans can be used for:
•    A new roof
•    Exterior and interior painting, including lead removal or covering. If lead is found in your home the agency will fund the entire amount to remove the lead from your home. This keeps you and your children safe from lead poising.
•    New energy efficient windows
•    New carpet and/or flooring
•    New high efficiency heating and air conditioning systems
•    Electrical work
•    Sewer repair or sewer installation
•    Termite repairs
•    Exterior concrete such as sidewalks, driveways, curbs, gutters, handrails or ramps
•    New door or window screens or repairs
•    New bathtub, shower, toilets, or repairs
•    Foundation or structural repairs
•    Fencing

To be eligible to receive these grants you must:
i.    Live in the City of San Bernardino
ii.    Make less than $77,400 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size.)
iii.    Have owned and lived in your home for at least one year and made that your principal place of residence.
iv.    Complete a Single Family Rehabilitation Loan application.
v.    Attend a property maintenance class created and given by The Neighborhood Housing Service of The Inland Empire, Inc. (NHSIE)
vi.    Agree to live in the house for at least 10 years as your principal place of residence.
vii.    Homeowners cannot receive a Beautification Grant and a Single Family Rehabilitation Loan.

“The program has such a big demand that our partner has placed a hold on new applications. Because of the demand, the agency is looking for additional partners to allow us to take more applications and get more money into the hands of residents faster.”

San Bernardino City homeowners who want more information on Single Family Rehabilitation Loans, or to be put on the waiting list can call The Neighborhood Housing Service of The Inland Empire, Inc. (NHSIE) at (909) 884-6891. 

3.    10 percent down payment assistance to buy a home in San Bernardino
“The best way to get rid of foreclosed homes in San Bernardino is for families to buy them and live in them,” said Marzullo.  “ 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.”

Marzullo may be right.  Homes that sold for more than $380,000 a few years ago are priced as low as $100,000.

Lower home prices make housing more affordable.  A family making $30,000 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.

The San Bernardino County Housing Authority says market rent for a three-bedroom apartment is $1,583 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.

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 interest rate on the loan is 3 percent simple interest.

To qualify you must:
1.    Purchase a home within the city limits of San Bernardino.
2.    Not have owned a home within the last three years.
3.    Make a cash investment of $1,000 towards the purchase price of the home.
4.    Earn less than $77,400 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size.)
5.    Occupy the home as your primary residence for the forty-five year term, or if you sell the home before then, share the equity increase with the agency.
6.    Attend a 16-hour Homebuyer Education course given by Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire.
For more information on the Homeowners’ Assistance Program can call the City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044 and ask for Lisa Conner. 

4.    Buying, rehabilitating and selling foreclosed properties to owners who will live in the homes
 “The agency has created or found ways for people to buy homes in the City of San Bernardino. This program allocates $3.7 million of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to empower agency-approved companies to purchase and rehabilitate some of the 4,327 foreclosed properties in our city.
These companies have been retained through a Request for Production/Qualifications (“RFP”) process and are checked by agency staff and approved by the City Council.

They are community development corporations, builders, developers and contractors.

Upon rehabilitation, the homes will be made available for purchase to qualifying households whose make less than $77,400 a year for a family of four (120 percent of the Area Median Income adjusted for family size).

Expected home sales prices are from $100,000 to $250,000. Buyers can also use the agency’s Homeowners Assistance Program providing a 10 percent down payment for those who qualify. For a $100,000 home that would be $10,000 to purchase the home.

For more information or a for list of available homes please call the City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044 and ask for Shannon Johnson.

5.   Purchasing and demolishing blighted and abandoned housing where crime is a problem
“Some of the abandoned or foreclosed homes and multi-family housing in our city are in physical conditions too costly for rehabilitation,” said Marzullo. “With a budget of $920,000 from federal Neighborhood Stabilization Funds and $1.00 million from the agency’s funds,  this program will allow for the acquisition, demolition and future home building on these sites.”

Generally, these sites fall under two primary categories: those that have become a blighting influence on the immediate area and pose a serious health and safety risk, and those which offer a unique opportunity to create catalytic projects that will help to further private investment.

“When the economy recovers these vacant lots will be ready for redevelopment of new single family homes,” said Marzullo.

Meridian Project
A current example of this includes the Fifth Street and Meridian Avenue project (“Meridian Project”) that was approved by the commission on September 15, 2008.  $2.5 million is approved and budgeted for the acquisition, demolition and preparation for development.

In the first phase of the project the agency acquired nine of the 18 residential complexes along Fifth Street immediately east of Meridian Avenue. 

The remaining nine privately owned properties are currently being appraised to find their highest and best use value.  Once the appraisals are complete CPSI, our relocation firm hired to assist the agency in this project, will prepare offers for presentation to the homeowners on behalf of the agency. 

The project is a priority for the agency as a result of the blighting effects the current apartment complexes are having on the immediate area, which is generally comprised of single-family residences. 

Given the high number of bank owned properties and the overall state of housing prices, the agency has a unique opportunity to acquire these properties at drastically reduced prices in order to obtain site control for future development. 

After the properties are demolished, the agency will issue a request for proposals to the development community in an attempt to seek the best redevelopment solution on an open and competitive basis.

In June of 2009 the agency demolished four fourplexes located on West Fifth Street.  The agency is currently demolishing another five fourplexes at the site.  The families living in these fourplexes have been successfully relocated to decent, safe and sanitary replacement sites and received relocation benefits.

19th Street and Sunrise
There are currently 244 low-income apartment units in 61 fourplexes and 10 vacant lots at the 19th and Sunrise project area.

The agency is purchasing 46 properties with up to 184 apartments for demolition.  As the housing market improves the agency will build up to 65 units of senior housing and between 40 – 55 single family homes.

When the project is complete the area will have 205 to 215 units of housing – 144 fewer apartments and 31 to 41 fewer housing units than when the agency started.

A more complete description of the entire project is below.

For more information on the purchase and demolition of blighted housing please call the City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044 and ask for Carey Jenkins. 

6.    Receivership Program created to enhance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods.
“Because of the way so many mortgages were made and sold in pieces to investors in the last few years, sometimes finding the true owner of a foreclosed property can be very difficult.  It can be more difficult to make the banks or other owners board up or repair their property when we do find them,” said Marzullo.

To take control of these properties and make sure they are repaired, maintained and resold the agency has created, tested and is ready to implement a Receivership Program. It works like this: After the city’s Code Enforcement team has documented a series of violations with a particular property and the owner refuses to obey after being given reasonable notice and opportunity, the city makes a request to the courts to have a receiver appointed to make the necessary repairs.

The Receivership Program is a great way to meet agency and city residents’ worries about these vacant and foreclosed properties.  The agency also has the added benefit of beautifying existing blighted housing stock without having to worry about how to fund the repairs.

This program is most effective in neighborhoods where there are one or two blighted properties on an otherwise nice street, the homes are priced above $150,000, and home prices are generally rising. “We have seen home prices stop their decline in recent months and we expect to see prices start to rise sometime in the future,” said Marzullo.

The agency has used the Receivership Program twice.  “We believe that as home prices rise we will have more of an opportunity to use the program to rid neighborhoods of problem homes faster. This is another tool to help us solve the problem of foreclosure and blight in the City of San Bernardino,” Marzullo said.

To make a complaint about a blighted vacant property call the City of San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency at (909) 663-1044 and ask for Shannon Johnson. 

7.    Annual notice of funding availability for large scale projects 
One of the issues the agency has had in the past is setting specific housing goals and then finding the resources to meet those objectives.  Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and agency funds we have been able to do just that.

The agency sent an invitation to housing companies, investors and developers and asked them to present their ideas to work with the agency on specific housing goals in San Bernardino with a determined financial contribution by the agency.
  
We called this invitation the annual notice of funding availability (NOFA). It was established to meet a number of key affordable housing objectives.

•    One, it allows for an orderly allocation of funds on a regular basis.  It also allows the agency to look at similar projects on the same merits, at the same time. 
•    Additionally, it will help meet the city’s overall housing creation goals for example, higher quality affordable housing stock and better on-site management of multifamily housing. 
•    Finally, it creates development opportunities within the city and generates interest from a greater number of potential community development corporations, developers, investors and potential partners.

Last year marked the agency’s first opportunity to provide a regular allocation of funds to address the general housing goals stated above.  With this in mind, the agency identified up to $6 million to be allocated toward two specific project types:
 
a)    New construction of senior housing between 80 and 120 units, and
b)    Acquisition and rehabilitation of existing problem multi-family rental housing of more than 40 units.

After a thorough review of the proposals received the agency ranked and selected two projects.

a)    Meta Housing, Inc. was selected to build 80 units of senior housing at the South West corner of Highland & Medical Center Drive.
b)    Mary Erickson Community Housing (MECH) was selected for the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing problematic multi-family rental housing.

To follow is information on the two projects.

a)    Meta Housing, Inc. – 80 units of senior housing at the South West corner of Highland & Medical Center Drive

This project transforms a blighted automotive site into 80 units of high quality, affordable housing for seniors, obtains 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.  

There will be three separate floor plans. The first 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. 

Meta Housing, Inc., is a Los Angeles, California based company that specializes in the development of affordable and market-rate apartment communities for families and seniors. Since 1969, the organization has been responsible for successfully developing more than 10,000 single-family and multi-family residential units throughout Southern California.

The total development cost for the project is $17.5 million. The agency’s agreed upon subsidy for the project is $4 million.   As a result of this development, the agency will retain the one-acre parcel and receive a deferred payment loan, secured by a second trust deed against the project.  

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

b)    The demolition of up to 184 apartments from the 19th and Sunrise area and the selection of Mary Erickson Community Housing to acquire, rehabilitate and manage the remaining 100 units of rental apartments.

The 19th and Sunrise area has a history of police and code enforcement involvement and is a blighting influence on the surrounding community.

A major problem with the area is that it has changed owners over the years. When it was built there was one owner of the 61 multifamily fourplexes.  The owner had the resources to maintain the properties in good condition, rent to good people and evict those who were not. 

About 20 years ago that company sold the multiplexes and now we have many different owners with many different standards for renting.  Some have no regard for their properties and have allowed them to decline into unlivable conditions.

A number of the properties are rented to people who cannot rent anywhere else.  Some are forced to pay first class rents of $1,200 or more a month for very poor quality housing.

The agency and council agreed the time is right to immediately stabilize the area of the city adversely affected by this poorly maintained and operated residential housing complex.

The agency’s plan is to use a non-profit housing developer to purchase and rehabilitate 100 units of apartments for rent.  The Agency is purchasing the remaining 46 properties with up to 184 apartments set for demolition. 

The vacant land will be used to build new single family housing and senior housing in the next few years as the housing market improves.

There are currently 244 low-income apartment units within 61 fourplexes and 10 vacant lots at the 19th and Sunrise project area.

Aerial photo of the 19th and Sunrise Project Area

When complete the 19th Street and Sunrise area will have:
o    100 units of rental apartments for families of four that make up to $53,300 a year.
o    40 – 55 single family homes for sale to families of four who make up to $77,400 a year.
o    65 units of senior apartments for rent to households that make up to $42,650 a year for a family of two.

The end result will deliver 205 to 215 units of housing – 144 fewer apartments and 31 to 41 fewer housing units than when the agency started.

Agency staff has determined the best method for acquiring; rehabilitating and operating apartments for rent would be through a non-profit company that could perform all of these functions on the agency’s behalf. The agency selected Mary Erickson Community Housing 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. The company 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.

Preventing future multiple owners
To make sure the rental apartments can never be sold to individual owners and create unsafe and unregulated conditions again, as the properties are purchased the deeds will be changed to make them each one parcel.
•    15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th Street will become one complete parcel. (The north area in blue.)
•    10 fourplexes on the South Side of Sunrise Lane will become one complete parcel. (The south area in blue.)

Current and Future Residents
Current residents will be asked to apply to live in the newly renovated apartments. MECH will have active on site management, new rental agreements and new rules 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.

Phase 1
Currently, Mary Erickson Community Housing is purchasing the vacant, foreclosed and boarded up properties in the19th and Sunrise area.  (The blue areas on the map.)

MECH has already acquired three properties and expects to begin construction in the coming weeks to rehabilitate those apartments. Phase 1 is complete when the 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th street and the 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane are acquired and rehabilitated. The initial allocation of NSP funds for this component is $2.1 million plus $1 million in Agency funds.

For its investment with MECH for the apartments, the agency will receive half (50 percent) of any “surplus cash flow” after all operating expenses and debt service payments have been made on each property acquired, rehabilitated and placed into service by MECH.

Phase 2
Concurrently, the Agency is also purchasing properties in the area bounded by 19th Street to the north, Sunrise Lane to the south, Guthrie to the east and Argyle to the west. These are the green and gold areas on the map. These properties will be acquired and demolished.  The initial cost to the Agency is $1.6 million.

Phase 3
When cleared and available the agency will prepare 12 parcels of the land for senior housing and issue a request for proposal to build 65 units of senior apartments. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds.

Phase 4
In the future as housing demand returns the agency will issue a request for proposals to build 40 – 55 single family homes. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds.  The number of homes depends on the lot size for the homes.

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

Summary
“The City of San Bernardino has a rich history and a bright future. We are a growing city of more than 205,000 people. We are also a diverse city with many different ethnic groups speaking several different languages,” said Marzullo.

He added, “Our diversity doesn’t stop with ethnic diversity. We are also an economically diverse city. Who lives in San Bernardino? Our friends and neighbors are people of all occupations and incomes.

“They are college presidents, truck drivers, teachers, cashiers, servers, rocket scientists, waiters, college professors, hosts, dishwashers, police officers, cooks, machinists, carpenters, house cleaners, brain surgeons, bartenders and corporate presidents.”

San Bernardino also has more than 30,000 college and university students attending such diverse campuses as Valley College, California State University and The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire.

Like many cities, San Bernardino area residents’ annual salaries vary from a low of zero for some college students to millions of dollars a year for company presidents and business owners.

“All of our residents need a safe, clean, quality and affordable place to live. It is the job of the Economic Development Agency and its Housing and Community Development Department of The City of San Bernardino to make sure that is possible to the best of our ability,” said Marzullo.

The agency has these programs to help solve our housing problems:
1.    $25,000 Single Family Rehabilitation Loans for homeowners in San Bernardino.
2.    10 percent down payment assistance to buy a home in San Bernardino.
3.    Buying, rehabilitating and selling foreclosed properties to owners who will live in the homes.
4.    Purchasing and demolishing blighted and abandoned housing where crime is a problem.
5.    Receivership Program created to enhance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods.
6.    Annual notice of funding availability for large scale projects 
7.    Build 80 units of senior housing at the SW corner Highland & Medical Center Drive and revitalize an important part of our city.  Meta Housing, Inc. selected build and mange the complex.
8.    The demolition of 184 apartments from the 19th and Sunrise area and the selection of Mary Erickson Community Housing to acquire, rehabilitate and manage the remaining 100 units of rental apartments.

“These projects require experienced professionals who search out funding opportunities and match them to the needs of our city; cerate and mange programs; and review and conform to the thousands of pages of rules, regulations and laws from city, state and federal agencies. We are lucky to have some of the best housing professionals in the state working for San Bernardino’s Economic Development Agency, said Marzullo.

Rest assured the Economic Development Agency in the city of San Bernardino continues to find new ways to improve housing.  For more information on any of these programs please call the EDA office at (909) 663-1044.

-end-
07.24.2009 SBEDA Comments Off on The EDA will not be removing residents from their homes

The EDA will not be removing residents from their homes


Dear Editor:

Please understand that the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency (“EDA”) will not be removing residents from their homes in the area commonly referred to as 19th and Sunrise based on the actions recently taken by the Community Development Commission (“CDC”).

The actions of the CDC on Monday, July 20, 2009, to approve an agreement with Mary Erickson Community Housing, a non-profit corporation, are focused on utilizing the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (“NSP”) funds that are presently available from the federal government.

The NSP funds can only be used for the acquisition of foreclosed properties directly from lenders who have completed the entire foreclosure process on a property. If a property is presently in foreclosure or if the owner is delinquent in making mortgage payments to the lender, the NSP funds cannot be used to acquire those housing units.

Our experiences have shown that virtually each of the properties on the foreclosed list within the City and which are thereby eligible for use of the NSP funds are vacant and typically in need of substantial rehabilitation.

Utilizing the NSP funds, the EDA through its non-profit partners is attempting to provide benefits to the various communities where there are a significant numbers of foreclosed properties that are continuing to deteriorate and cause further blighting effects on adjacent properties.

The use of these grant funds will allow the EDA and its non-profit partners to fix-up and rehabilitate these run-down properties and to provide better screening of tenants to assure that good citizens become our neighbors.

The other source of funds for acquisition of housing units in the 19th and Sunrise area is the EDA’s low and moderate-income housing fund.

As housing units become available on the open market for sale at the option of each property owner, the EDA does intend either directly or through its non-profit partners to acquire these properties as well. The NSP funds cannot be used for this purpose.

We recognize that there are some responsible property owners in the 19th and Sunrise area who should be considered role models for all landlords. After hearing the numerous complaints by residents at the July 20, 2009, CDC meeting, it appears obvious that those “slum landlords” who continue to acquire and resell the 4-plexes in the 19th and Sunrise area do not maintain the properties to acceptable standards but merely collect rents and fail to make any repairs or improvements to their properties.

It is the goal of the EDA to break this cycle of “slum landlords” who seek a quick and easy profit at the expense of the residents and impact other City services. The EDA is attempting to provide for responsible ownership and professional management of 4-plexes in the 19th and Sunrise area.

The goal of the EDA is to address issues with the blighted and foreclosed properties and convert them into a combination of quality affordable apartments, senior housing and single-family homes.

Residents will have additional resources through responsible owners to create a safe neighborhood. As the redevelopment of this area progresses, the residents will have an opportunity that does not currently exist to rent the repaired and upgraded apartments as they become available.

As was stated at the July 20, 2009, CDC meeting by several speakers, doing nothing is not an option. If the EDA does nothing, then the speculators and slum-lords will purchase the 4-plexes once again and repeat the same cycle that has occurred several times over the past 20 years.

There are many steps that need to be taken before the entire project is complete. Whatever degree of accomplishments we achieve in the future will provide better living conditions than what is currently found in the 19th and Sunrise area today.

If you have any questions please call the EDA representative for this project Samuel Hughes at (909) 963-5020.

Sincerely,

Carey K. Jenkins

Director of Housing and Community Development