Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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.