The EDA will not be removing residents from their homes
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.
Carey K. Jenkins
Director of Housing and Community Development
Trackback from your site.