- Green Renovation Preserves Affordable Homes
- Mutual Housing Youth Get Crucial After-School Support
- Through Efficient Property Management, Mutual Housing Provides Funding for the Development of New Homes
- Save the Date: Preserving Our Legacy
Green Renovation Preserves Affordable Homes
Ensuring that homes remain affordable is a tough task. Buildings and infrastructure bring up challenges beyond ensuring rental subsidies keep pace with the costs of operating a rental community. This spring we celebrated the grand re-opening of our Mutual Housing at Foothill Farms community. It was a joyous occasion to celebrate the journey and supporters along the way as well as the families that benefited from improved living conditions and increased housing stability. As one resident speaker exclaimed about how happy she was with the changes, “Now I don’t want to ever die,” with a wide grin toward the assembled crowd. Other Mutual Housing at Foothill Farms resident members, Yuriy and Viktoriya Klyushnik, graciously played their string ensemble as a tribute to the stability and renewed sense of pride in their community. Another resident member giving open tours to her apartment home before the program highlighted another enhancement, “an important one is that every [room] has high efficiency AC. It’s economical too.”
The renovation included green upgrades that are designed to help the residents financially through utility savings, and also provide health benefits through the environmentally friendly materials that improve indoor air quality and accessibility for the disabled. During the predevelopment phase we surveyed the resident members
to get their thoughts on the upgrades the community needed to improve their quality of life. From that listening we determined the most crucial improvements were to the heating and cooling systems and domestic hot water distribution system. It is important to modernize these systems in an effort to increase efficiency and comfort for both the resident members and property alike.
It takes a team to make this project possible. The general contractor, TriCorp, architect Sarah Ellis, and relocation consultant Laurin Associates stepped up to the challenge and worked cohesively to complete the renovations on time. Funding came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Chase Bank and Merritt Community Capital. Early predevelopment funding from NeighborWorks America®, River City Bank, and Sacramento Bank of Commerce was critical to making these green upgrades. The culmination of this green renovation is another milestone for Mutual Housing in our journey to provide affordable and sustainable housing communities for families and individuals.
Mutual Housing Youth Get Crucial After-School Support
“It’s making me better at school,” says Lashayla, age 11, who is one of our many youth resident members engaged in our after-school programs across 18 of our housing communities.”
“My mom recently had surgery and my dad is helping after work with chores like dishes, making the bed, and mopping. So, after-school homework help is great right now,” she elaborates, “Adriana helps me with my homework and makes it easier to get it done here than at home.”
“From the first day to now, I feel like I’m modeling being a leader for them,” says Adriana, one of four Sacramento State University students who provides homework help on weekday afternoons during the school year. The partnership with Sacramento State Division of Student Affairs helps place local college students into our Mutual Housing communities to support our organization-wide Culture of College. Explains Mutual Housing Director of Community Organizing Fernando Cibrian, “We want our youth to engage with their teachers more to lead to higher enjoyment of school and higher grades.”
Adds Sacramento State Student Rosalia Lopez, “I get them to engage also through activities like creating sight word-books, recycling, and learning about the plants around the community. Some days I work with up to 8 youth ranging from pre-school to 6th grade. [Ultimately] I want the youth to keep participating in the after-school program beyond my own time serving here.”
In addition to our after-school supports, we have a College Ambassadors program to establish mentorship relationships for our resident youth members to support their individual pathways to higher education. With support from Teichert Foundation and Sierra Health Foundation, this spring, our first cohort graduated at community events in three Mutual Housing communities.
Mutual Housing California wants all of our resident students to know that college is a real option for them and to provide the environment and support necessary for students to succeed. We provide unique support to first generation college students. Our culture of college combines consistent and reliable hands-on support, school-year and summer nutrition components, and tangible pathways to higher education.
We are currently recruiting for our Fall 2017 Federal Work-Study positions through Sacramento State. To apply go to CSUS Hornet Career Connection and search Job ID: 57066.
To support all our Culture of College programs donate and choose the “Culture of College Programs” designation.
Through Efficient Property Management, Mutual Housing Provides Funding for the Development of New Homes
In the midst of celebrating the Spring Grand Re-Opening of Mutual Housing at Foothill Farms, there was an understated presentation of a monumental payment from Mutual Housing California to Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA). It may not have been poster sized, but the check payment was a large symbol of Mutual Housing’s rich legacy of partnering with SHRA to develop and preserve affordable housing. Indeed, since 1989, we have combined forces with SHRA to leverage the development, rehabilitation, and preservation of over 764 homes in Sacramento County alone.
The ability to make this residual receipts loan payment means Mutual Housing Management is operating proactively and efficiently through fully implementing green operations and maintenance practices. According to SHRA executive director LaShelle Dozier, only about 20% of properties with residual receipts loans are able to make regular payments. Adds Mutual Housing CEO Rachel Iskow, “The Mutual Housing Management team keeps a close eye on property operations, preventive maintenance, and budgets. This results in satisfied residents who are proud of their homes and pleased funding partners who are confident their investments are preserved and their loans will be paid back as promised. It operates in a way that enables us to make payments on residual loans.” “When affordable housing owners repay their loans, SHRA is able to reinvest those funds as new loans to our development partners. This creates and preserves additional affordable housing which helps us all to continually address the critical shortage in Sacramento,” LaShelle explains. According to a May report by California Housing Partnership Corporation, Sacramento County still needs over 62,000 affordable homes to meet current needs.¹
Mutual Housing California will continue to advocate for investment in aging, low-resourced neighborhoods whose residents might otherwise lack a voice in public resource allocation. To do this, we work together with elected officials to position Sacramento County and its cities to leverage state and federal funds. One of the most important tools in this effort is to have sufficient local funding mechanisms to provide match to other government subsidies. Currently, Sacramento local funding match for affordable housing is woefully insufficient.
Our supporters and stakeholders can support this effort by letting your elected representatives know that affordable housing is a key strategy for improving lives and the area’s livability, as well as furthering economic development. Mutual Housing California is a member of coalitions such as Sacramento Housing Alliance, Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Rural Housing Coalition, California Reinvestment Committee, Environmental Coalition of Sacramento, and Housing California. You can also become a member of these organizations and get their housing action alerts.
Save the Date: Preserving Our Legacy
¹ California Housing Partnership Corporation. May 2017. “SACRAMENTO COUNTY RENTERS IN CRISIS: A CALL FOR ACTION” http://chpc.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Sacramento-2017.pdf