January 2022 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

January 31, 2022

Adam Briones

While we here at CCB know that some people have *very* strong opinions about when to stop saying “Happy New Year,” we also know that it’s not quite February yet and this is our first newsletter of 2022 so…Happy New Year everybody! We hope it was a great one for you and your loved ones.

This inaugural newsletter of the year features one last round up of what we’re proud to have accomplished in 2021, our inspiring friends and some of their big wins last year, and a quick overview of what we here at CCB are most excited for in 2022.

If anything you read strikes a chord, please don’t hesitate to contact us here and connect with us on Twitter @CACommBuilders or LinkedIn — aka your nephew and uncle’s favorite social media platforms, respectively. Also, while you’re at it, it’s never too early in the year to make a tax-deductible donation here. 😊

Until we cross paths again we hope everyone stays safe, stays engaged, and when things get tough, keeps the words and spirit of the immortal Fannie Lou Hamer in mind:

Winner: CA Dream for All Program Design Project

One of CCB’s biggest wins last year came as most big wins do: from teamwork. CCB, as a part of a larger team led by California Forward, and including HR&A Advisors and CSG Advisors, has been selected by the State Treasurer’s Office as the winner of the California Dream for All shared-equity mortgage design project. The program seeks to address a major barrier to homeownership for underserved families who are shut out of the current mortgage market. Beginning this month, our team will help design a new shared equity mortgage product that, if adopted by the state, will create a new pathway to homeownership for these families.

While California and the US as a whole must address our underproduction of housing and ensure that BIPOC developers play a leading role, we believe this project could make a material difference in one of the most significant barriers to homeownership and wealth-building for people of color: access to safe, affordable mortgage capital.

We love to see our friends win!

We really like to brag about our friends and the great work they do! For real, they’re awesome. As our last look back at 2021, here are just a few of the amazing things some of our nonprofit partners and friends accomplished.*

Ventura County Community Development Corporation: VCCDC celebrated their 20th year of service in 2021! Incorporated in 2001, VCCDC offers homeowner education, lending products for low- and moderate-income homebuyers, and realty services to strengthen communities, create homeowners empowered with financial resiliency, and help build family wealth.

UCLA Latino Policy and Politics InitiativeIn April 2021, Sonja Diaz and Dr. Matt Barreto testified in hearings before the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R.1 and H.R.4, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, respectively. Their findings were ultimately included in the congressional report, “Voting in America” and were instrumental in laying the evidentiary basis for new voting rights legislation that was approved by the House.

The Two HundredThe 200 elevated “homeownership” as a critical equity issue among assembly legislators for the first time in many years of public discourse as evident in the Assembly Housing Committee eight-city listening tour conversations in late 2021 and subsequent report. The Two Hundred for Homeownership, previously known as The 200, is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation as of November 9, 2021. The incorporators, Joe Coto, Herman Gallegos, and Robert J. Apodaca stated its mission is to provide a pathway out of poverty through homeownership and reduced cost of living.

Terner Housing LabThe Terner Housing Lab received nearly 160 applications from early-stage nonprofit and for profit innovators across the country with creative solutions to improve housing affordability and equity. The five organizations selected for the 2021 cohort have already gone on to negotiate significant government partnerships and raise nearly $100M to support the expansion of their work.

Richmond Neighborhood Housing ServicesRichmond Neighborhood Housing Services announced its first ever Emerging Developers Program (EDP) in Fall 2021. EDP is a 3-month long educational program designed to provide 15-20 professionals with the knowledge and technical skills to develop infill units and single-family homes. RNHS will coordinate and align resources between community-based technical assistance providers, the City of Oakland, and lenders to maximize the resources targeted directly at Black-led development and real estate-related firms. This project’s governance structure will center Black-led organizations while also still being flexible enough to grow as the project grows with success.

LISC San Diego: This year LISC San Diego, Union Bank and the San Diego Foundation launched our $1.25 million San Diego Black Homebuyer Program that is providing qualified Black families living and buying their first home in San Diego County a minimum of $40K for their down payment. Here is profile of their first grantee, Tyshawn Cook.

Home Free USAIn 2021, the HomeFree-USA network proudly assisted over 4,000 Californians attain homeownership, or avoid eviction or foreclosure. Most of these families were nervous about being taken advantage of and concerned they’d never find a home they could afford in the state they love. With the help of 11 California nonprofits, these families happily accessed downpayment assistance, achieved sustainable and affordable homeownership, or learned and exercised their rights in order to remain in their home.

Faith and Community EmpowermentFACE has worked to advocate for equity and inclusion for all communities including the Asian American community. In a press release announcing their $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, PNC Bank named Faith and Community Empowerment as one of four community organizations recognized for their role in advising and shaping their community benefits plan.

CRA BaltimoreCRA Baltimore is a coalition working to hold the top 12 banks accountable for racially relevant specific commitments to Black and Latino communities in Baltimore City. Their work ensures that the days of allowing banks to cover up their poor lending and support to match theirs with national commitments are over in Baltimore City.

Council on Technology and & Society: The Council on Technology & Society has been working with Ilya Volodarsky, co-founder of Segment, to launch a new organization dedicated to advancing evidence-based wildfire management and mitigation. The org will help coordinate megafire response across state and national stakeholders, as well as fill a critical advocacy and education gap in California.

CA YIMBYLast year was a monumentally successful year for CA YIMBY! Four of the bills they supported in 2021 are now law, including SB 9 (enables homeowners to split their property into two lots and build two homes on each lot) and SB 10 (helps cities legalize “missing middle” apartments). They also released 3 videos on the key issues California faces when it comes to housing, including the cause of the affordability crisis, the challenges facing middle-income workers, and how the affordability crisis is exacerbating climate change.

CA ForwardCalifornia Forward made impressive strides this past legislative year, working to craft and pass the $600 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) to invest in California’s regional economies in a radically different way. In coalition, the organization worked to secure a historic $6-billion investment in broadband that will reduce digital inequity and the 2019 “California’s Wildfire Crisis: A Call To Action” helped spur action that led to a commitment of $1.5 billion to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

Abundant Housing Los AngelesBuilding on AHLA’s 2019 victory of the Coastal Plan for Southern California, a plan for 1.4 million homes concentrated in high-cost coastal areas, AHLA helped ensure that every city in Los Angeles County has a realistic plan for implementing these goals. Because of the consistent advocacy, the City of LA is going forward with a bold housing element to create dramatic increases in capacity and housing production – a rezoning plan that will include more than 250,000 as a production target, and will create more than 1.4M increase in capacity.

*This is a highly truncated list. We look forward to sharing even more wins from even more of our great allies in the future!

What are you hopeful for in 2022?

We here at CCB are eternal optimists and know that 2022 is going to be our best year yet. Here’s a few things that we’re excited to do, see, or accomplish this year.

Sylvia Aguilar

Chief Operating Officer

This year, I look forward to working with our partners to protect, defend and expand housing that is truly affordable. I also hope my backyard garden bears more fruit this year!

Moorea Benmosche

Public Policy Intern

I can’t wait to see all the improvements in housing policy from 2021 take effect in the new year as the housing advocacy field continues to grow in both California and the rest of the country. I also hope to master my mom’s famous short ribs recipe!

Adam Briones

Chief Executive Officer

I look forward to a year where it becomes easier to building housing for working class families, easier for those families to buy homes in their communities, and easier for BIPOC developers to fully participate in the growth of their own neighborhoods. I also hope Dune 2 comes out this year, the sci-fi community demands it!

Ron Chavez

Director of Community Development

My hope for the new year is that the movement towards racial equity will be seen as a rational means to heal and strengthen our country, and not as charity. I also hope I can go on a date to hear live music without a mask some day.

Minhal Hanif

Program Manager

This year I hope that we can make significant progress towards policies that affirm fair housing and create equal economic opportunity for all. I also look forward to adopting another cat and naming it Mithai.

Jessica Martin

Research Fellow

This year I hope that the momentum on workers rights and the renewed interest in the labor movement continue. I really want to live in a society that values people, their talents and their time not with platitudes but with a living wage. I’d also like to spend a few days on a tropical vacation somewhere doing absolutely nothing after I graduate in June.

Hannah Phalen

Senior Program Manager

I hope that the once-in-8-years Housing Element cycle will be fruitful and lead to the housing production our state needs, and hopefully lead the nation in how to affirmatively further fair housing. I also hope Frank Ocean drops a new album or goes on tour!

emailing address: info@ccbuilders.org