County Passes Through $5M Subsidy To Aid Burum’s Plan To Construct Low & Moderate Income Housing In SB

The San Bernardino County Housing Authority will pass through $5 million in federal HOME funding to subsidize National Community Renaissance in its construction of 92 affordable housing units and a community center, what is to be phase four of the Arrowhead Grove Inclusive Redevelopment Project.
Arrowhead Grove is the follow-on development to replace Waterman Gardens, which was originally completed in 1943 on 38 acres at the southeast corner of Baseline Avenue and Waterman Avenue as a 252-unit housing complex for military personnel stationed at San Bernardino Army Air Field, which later became George Air Force Base.
Waterman Gardens evolved into public housing that was managed under the auspices of the San Bernardino County Housing Authority.
Over time, those homes fell into disrepair, with many of the residents living in squalor. Criminal activity proliferated there.
In 2014, the City of San Bernardino acquiesced in the county’s intention to complete the Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood Revitalization project, a $200 million undertaking by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino to be completed in cooperation with the developer National Community Renaissance, known as National CORE, a nonprofit organization that develops, builds, finances, and manages affordable housing communities. The parameters of the project were set at 411 units overall, with 252 affordable units, 74 senior units, 47 market rate units and 38 homes to be available for purchase.
By very late 2014, demolition of the former Waterman Gardens had begun. In February 2015, ground was broken for the first phase, Valencia Vista, comprising 76 affordable units. Those residences became available in 2016.
In September 2018, the next phase, Olive Meadow, a 62-unit apartment complex on Olive Street, was opened for rentals.
In 2019, a Head Start facility was completed.
In 2021, Crestview Terrace, the next phase, consisting of 184 mixed-income family apartments, opened.
The county, through its housing authority, maintains title to the 38 acres. It has subdivided the land into separate parcels corresponding to each phase.
With the first 322 affordable housing units now completed, the effort will turn to Phase IV, which is to consist of 22 single-bedroom, 46 double-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom units, totaling 92 new affordable units. The targeted income levels for prospective occupants are 80 percent below the area median income.
Given the abject poverty of those who are homeless in San Bernardino, it is not likely those on the streets will be able to get into those domiciles, however, without some other form of assistance.
Phase IV is to further include a community center, which is to lease office space to nonprofit organizations to provide nearby services for low-income residents. One of the tenants of the planned community center is Dignity Health, a California healthcare provider in California. Dignity is tentatively scheduled to occupy the west wing of the building, which will serve as a federally qualified health center, according to the county. Congressman Pete Aguilar, (D-San Bernardino), last year secured $3 million in state funding for the construction of the community center. In addition to the Dignity Health quarters, the center will serve as a forum for public gatherings and provide a community kitchen and community garden.
The county government has not released this year’s figures from its most recent “point in time” tallying of the homeless completed over a single 24-hour period in January 2024. Last year, on January 26, 2023, that survey recorded 4,195 throughout the county, with the county seat, i.e., the City of San Bernardino, logging more destitute than any other city in the 20,105-square-mile county, with 1,502 living on the streets, in alleyways, under overpasses, beneath railroad trestles, in or around the Santa Ana River bed, flood control channels, within the city’s sewer and drainage system, within the flood plain and hidden in the landscaping along the freeway or near the confluence of I-10 and I-215.
Certain elements with regard to the county’s coordination with National Core for Phase IV have to be lined up, such that it is anticipated construction on the project will begin by March 2026, with a completion target set for the fourth quarter of 2027.
National CORE was founded in 1991 by Jeff Burum. He remains as National CORE chairman of the board. Michael M. Ruane is the organization’s president; Robert Diaz its executive vice president and general counsel; Doretta Bryan its senior vice president of operations; Michael Finn its chief financial officer; Chris Killian its senior vice president of construction; Dan Lorraine its senior vice president of property management; Barry Oglesby its senior vice president of finance and acquisitions; Jill Van Balen its senior vice president of marketing and communications; Alexa Washburn its senior vice president of planning and acquisitions; and Ashley Wright its senior vice president of development.
-Mark Gutglueck

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