Posted on September 24, 2021
BOSTON --- MHP held a free virtual webinar recently to provide information on a certification program that encourages affordable housing organizations to help build more equitable communities by demonstrating and increasing their commitment to delivering quality health, wellness and other services to residents.
The event was co-hosted by MHP's multifamily lending team and the Stewards of Affordable Housing (SAHF), a national nonprofit which developed the program, known as Certified Organization for Resident Engagement & Services (CORES).
"As a mission-based permanent lender, we support the development of safe, quality, stable and healthy affordable housing, and I think it is a common goal for all of us," said MHP Senior Relationship Manager Alma Balonon-Rosen in her opening remarks. "That's why we're here today, to learn how to provide pathways to opportunities for residents by providing information on best practices in resident services."
The webinar was led by Alexandra Nassau-Brownstone, vice president of resident outcomes at SAHF. She and colleague Sara Autori provided an overview of the CORES program. The two-hour webinar included:
- In-depth review of CORES certification eligibility and requirements;
- Guidance on the application process;
- Distinction between delivering services directly, through a third-party or by hybrid approach;
- Introduction to the CORES online resource library;
- Question & answer session.
CORES was created in 2018 by SAHF with grant support by the MacArthur Foundation. At the same time, according to a 2019 article in Tax Credit Advisor, Fannie Mae was exploring ways to promote resident services and better health outcomes in properties. It began to work with SAHF and now uses CORES and as a requirement that developers and owners must earn to qualify for incentives through Fannie Mae's Healthy Rewards Program.
"We developed CORES in response to the acknowledgement that resident services were being delivered in many ways," said Nassau-Brownstone at the webinar, which was held on Friday, Sept. 24.
Nassau-Brownstone explained that CORES presents a framework that makes residents services an organizational function that is systematic and replicable. It also encourages community engagement in the structuring and delivery of on-site services such as mental health support, nutrition, wellness, education and workforce development programs.
"CORES certification is a signal that owners are committed to quality services for residents," she said.
After the question & answer session, MHP's Balonon-Rosen said MHP has committed resources to support affordable housing owners or property management companies in their pursuit of the CORES certification. MHP is also Fannie Mae lender and has recent experience working with borrowers on earning incentives Fannie Mae offers to owners with CORES certification.
This event was co-sponsored by MHP, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC), and NeighborWorks America.
For more information about how MHP can support your organization's efforts to earn the CORES certification, contact MHP Senior Relationship Manager Alma Balonon-Rosen at 857-317-8578 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
About MHP: MHP offers a variety of capital sources to provide permanent financing for affordable housing, including bank funds and lending programs offered by Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Since 1990, MHP has provided over $1.4 billion for the financing of over 26,000 apartments and has helped over 21,000 low- and moderate-income households buy their first home through the SoftSecond and ONE Mortgage programs, resulting in over $3.7 billion in mortgage financing. MHP has provided support and technical assistance to over 300 communities. In 2017, MHP created the Center for Housing Data to support all its work and promote policies to allow more housing in response to demand.