Archive for the ‘News Stories’ Category

Introducing E-asy Account

July 21st, 2014

Group shot cropped

Thanks to Citi Community Development’s support of a $200,000 grant, CHW is now able to introduce a smart new technology solution for our financial coaching program: E-asy Account.

Easy account diagram

E-asy Account is a virtual bridge connecting consumer financial information aggregated by with the data tracking systems used by financial experts at participating nonprofit organizations. This helps eliminate the paper chase and streamline data collection for nonprofits.

With the sophisticated tools of plus the one-on-one support of a financial expert, E-asy Account users set realistic financial goals and stay motivated towards achieving them. Nonprofit providers will also see staff productivity rise, saving thousands of staff hours yearly and allowing them to help more people.

Thank you, Citi Community Development, for your support!

CHW is Key Player in Achievement of Obama’s Affordable Housing Solar Energy Goal

May 9th, 2014
CHW Parkview Terrace Aerial solar panels

Parkview Terrace, an affordable rental community developed by CHW in Poway, California. Solar panels from Everyday Energy.

CHW and Everyday Energy will add 3.5 megawatts of on site solar across a total of 22 sites

SAN DIEGO – May 9, 2014 – In an announcement released this morning by the White House in advance of President Barack Obama’s appearance at a renewable energy event in California, Community HousingWorks (CHW) was cited as a key player in achieving the Obama Administration’s goal of providing 100 megawatts for publicly supported housing by 2020.

CHW, a San Diego-based, nonprofit affordable housing developer, is on its way to producing 3.5 megawatts of solar power in its affordable rental communities. Working with their solar energy partner, Everyday Energy, the nation’s leader in financing, designing and installing solar systems for multifamily affordable housing communities, CHW has already installed over a full megawatt of power through photovoltaic and has also installed domestic solar hot water solar systems in 11 apartment communities throughout San Diego County.

This innovative developer is currently working to install new solar systems at 22 additional affordable rental communities. A large portion of the savings will go to lowering utility costs for 1,100 lower income working families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. As San Diego’s utilities increase, on average, at 6 percent or more each year, these savings are especially important.

“The multifamily affordable housing segment continues to be the most promising market in the United States for solar power,” said Scott Sarem, chief executive officer, Everyday Energy. “In California, we’ve found that when compared to single family affordable housing, multifamily solar projects not only reduce energy costs for a significantly higher number of people, but have greater scalability resulting in much lower acquisition cost than single family solar programs.”

“Our commitment to sustainability runs deep,” says Anne Wilson, senior vice president of housing and real estate development, CHW. “We hold the distinction of developing SOLARA, the first apartment community in the California to be fully powered by the sun. Everyday Energy’s in-depth understanding of affordable housing has made these solar installations feasible both for new construction properties and those in operation.”

The reduction to carbon footprint from these efforts is calculated at an average of 43 percent lower emissions. The 11 CHW communities with domestic solar hot water systems offset more than 56,000 therms each year, supplying hot water to 716 residential units, reducing total therm consumption by an average of 46 percent. This is the equivalent to planting more than 7,000 trees, or eliminating 25,360,000 miles driven by cars. CHW recently installed a shallow, air-driven geothermal system in its Escondido, California property, Avocado Court, home to families and formerly homeless, disabled veterans. This unique system, which is the first of its kind in the United States, eliminates the need for air conditioning in the community space, greatly reducing the total energy consumption of the building.


About Community HousingWorks

Founded in 1982, Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a nationally-recognized 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people and communities move up in the world through opportunities to own, rent, and achieve. CHW has a successful 30-year history developing multi-family, affordable rental apartments and rehabilitating single-family homes for resale in urban, suburban and rural communities in Southern California. We have developed close to 1,700 apartments in 31 communities. CHW’s apartment homes are designed to be healthy and vibrant communities that improve their neighborhoods, offering residents an array of programs to help them move up. Through our comprehensive programs, we proudly serve more than 8,000 children and adults each year. CHW is San Diego County’s only member of the national NeighborWorks Network® and an award-winning affiliate of the National Council of La Raza. Learn more at


About Everyday Energy

Everyday Energy finances, designs and installs solar energy systems for multifamily affordable housing and trains and hires veterans and affordable housing residents to help them begin careers in solar energy. Everyday Energy creates financial scenarios that allow customers to install solar at little to no out of pocket expense. Headquartered in Carlsbad, CA, Everyday Energy is responsible for creating over six megawatts of solar energy throughout the state. For more information, visit or call 760-607-7200.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy: Community HousingWorks.

Download the high-res photo using this link. No password required:

Fact Sheet from President Obama Announces Commitments and Executive Actions to Advance Solar Deployment and Energy Efficiency (Community HousingWorks is listed under “Private and Public Sector Commitments”)

For more information, please contact us.

CHW Receives Top Honors from U.S. Green Building Council

May 7th, 2014


The U.S.G.B.C LEED for Homes Awards recognizes projects, developers and homebuilders that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in residential green building.

Kalos provides 83 vibrant new affordable workforce homes in a smart growth/sustainable setting. The LEED Platinum midrise development sensitively added density and locked in long-term affordability in a built-out, rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The LEED elements exceed local and national standards in energy efficiency and green construction values, with more than 50 percent reductions in water, more than 70 percent reduction in gas and electrical use, along with car sharing and electric car charging stations. On-site tenant education spreads awareness of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle through smoke-free operations, recycling programs and promotion of alternative transportation.

“We’re glad that our partners at U.S.G.B.C. and the Home Depot provided a grant to offset the extra documentation cost of the LEED program, and are proud to be recognized nationally for the groundbreaking work CHW has been doing for years in the field of sustainability,” says Anne Wilson, senior vice president, housing & real estate development, CHW. “With rebates and incentives, every green system or material we installed pays off in less than 10 years,” said Sylvia Martinez, senior project manager, CHW.

For a complete list of winners, visit the U.S.G.B.C. website.

Learn more about Kalos.

alley view






Fresh Ways to Support CHW

April 15th, 2014

Fresh Ways To Support CHW

Check out our newest community partners. We are teaming up to make it easier than ever to contribute to the cause!


Ralphs Grocery

If you shop at Ralph’s grocery store, you can now register your rewards card online and link your account to Community HousingWorks. This will not only save you money at the checkout, but a portion of the proceeds will go directly to CHW’s community programs.

Register your club card today!


Stone Brewery

Support CHW’s mission and have fun at the same time! Stone Brewing Co. has named CHW its charity focus for April, May and June. When you and your friends take a tour of their brewery in Escondido, $1 of the $3 charge will come back to CHW and the community.

Take a tour 

Categories: News Stories, Newsletters

Join us for the North Santa Fe Groundbreaking

April 10th, 2014

N Santa Fe photo

Join Community HousingWorks at the Groundbreaking for North Santa Fe Apartments

This transit-oriented development is located opposite the SPRINTER train and bus station, in the downtown district of the City of Vista. The 68 affordable apartments include ten for Transition-Aged Youth in partnership with North County Lifeline.

Learn more about the North Santa Fe Apartments Development


April 23 | 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

301 North Santa Fe Avenue

Vista, CA 92084



Please RSVP to

Please park at the lot at the corner of North Santa Fe Avenue and Vista Village Drive. This is a construction site – please wear flat, sturdy shoes.



Sun Country Builders

Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners, Inc.

Excel Engineering




Thank you, Rachel – AmeriCorps, VISTA!

April 9th, 2014


In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Week, CHW wants to say thank you to a truly amazing and dedicated person, Rachel Cherny!

Rachel, a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), has been with CHW since July 2013 and during her time she has transformed CHW’s volunteer initiative and has successfully recruited more than 118 volunteers. She has recruited tutors, reading coaches, translators, office volunteers, cooking volunteers, guest readers, and has connected many passionate and driven people to support CHW’s 18 Learning Centers and the Running Readers program.

In addition, Rachel has been the key person in the development and implementation of CHW’s first Green Management Plans which supports CHW’s mission to provide sustainable rental communities and training to residents on how to incorporate green living in their homes. The curriculum Rachel created falls in line with CHW’s Running Readers program (Green Family Nights) and Classes and Coaching (Green Family Asset Building) workshops, with the ultimate goal of helping families and individuals move up in the world.

CHW is truly honored to have Rachel Cherny on our team and want to thank her for all her hard work and dedication to the organization.

CHW Breaks Ground on New Community in Vista

April 1st, 2014

N Santa Fe photo

Festivities planned for Apr. 23 to celebrate the start of construction on the North Santa Fe Apartments in Vista; Transit-oriented community with easy access to multiple modes of public transit; Will be home to lower income, working families, seniors and adult youth aging out of foster care

Vista, Calif. – Apr. 22, 2014 – Federal, state and local leaders will celebrate the groundbreaking of Community HousingWorks’ new affordable apartment community on Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 301 North Santa Fe Avenue, Vista, Calif. Situated on a 1.4 acre site, the new construction will provide 68 apartment homes to lower income working families, with 10 apartments set aside for transition-age youth who are aging out of foster care, with North County Lifeline as service provider.

The Apr. 23 community event will feature distinguished speakers, including the Honorable Judy Ritter, Mayor of Vista, and Sue Reynolds, President of CHW. Multiple public and private community partners came together in funding this new development, with permanent and construction financing as well as Low Income Housing Tax Credit investment provided by Union Bank; Ground Lease from the City of Vista; Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the City of Carlsbad; and additional funding from NeighborWorks®.

“Union Bank is pleased to serve as a partner with Community HousingWorks and the City of Vista in the development of North Santa Fe Apartments for working families in the community,” said Executive Vice President Annette Billingsley, head of Union Bank’s Community Development Finance division. “It is gratifying to support Community HousingWorks in providing this important transit-oriented development that will serve the lives of its residents and the greater Vista community. This marks our seventh financing partnership with Community HousingWorks.”

North Santa Fe Apartments are part of Vista’s Downtown Specific Plan, realizing the city’s vision for the revitalization of the downtown area as a pedestrian-oriented village. The development will be located in the central area of the city across from the North Santa Fe Transit Station where residents will have access to the SPRINTER train and Breeze bus lines.

“Providing lower income residents with easy access to public transit was a significant factor in the plans for this development,” said Sue Reynolds, President, CHW. “With rising gas prices, car insurance costs, and expensive repairs, it is crucial that families have alternative options for reaching their jobs, schools, and other resources.”

Consistent with CHW’s commitment to sustainability, North Santa Fe Apartments is designed and will be built as an energy-efficient development. Plans include the use of “green” and recycled building materials, Energy Star appliances, high efficiency fixtures, “cool” roofs, and upgraded insulation. The landscaping will utilize drought tolerant and native plants in order to conserve water. Thermal solar hot water will augment the gas-fired central boiler is expected to save at least 50 percent of energy use compared to a standard system.

Designed to be energy and water efficient with rooftop solar thermal, North Santa Fe Apartments is part of the Green Point Rated certification program. The design includes three stories of apartments set on a concrete podium over subterranean parking with a 2,500 sf community building which will include the leasing office, a learning center, computer room, reading nook, and a community meeting room with a full kitchen. Additional amenities include bike racks, garden, barbeque area and a laundry located adjacent to the patio and tot lot so parents can oversee children at play while doing the wash. Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2015.


  • Transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly development
  • Cost effective sustainable, green design including solar thermal technology
  • 68 one, two, and three bedroom apartments
  • Affordable to working families, seniors and individuals earning from 30% to 60% Area Median Income
  • 10 apartments to be set aside for transition-aged youth aging out of foster care with North County Lifeline as service partner
  • Close proximity to neighborhood amenities including schools and retail

Funding Sources:

  • Union Bank, Construction and Permanent Lender
  • Union Bank, Low Income Housing Tax Credit Investor
  • City of Vista, Ground Lease
  • City of Carlsbad, CDBG
  • NeighborWorks®
  • CA Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Low Income Housing Tax Credits

Design and Construction Partners:

  • Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners, Architect
  • Ivy Landscape Architecture and Planning, Landscape Architect
  • Sun Country Builders, General Contractor
  • Excel Engineering, Civil Engineer and Surveyors

About Community HousingWorks

Founded in 1982, Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a nationally-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people and communities move up in the world through opportunities to own, rent, and achieve. CHW has a successful 32-year history developing multi-family, affordable rental apartments and rehabilitating single-family homes for resale in urban, suburban and rural communities in Southern California. We have developed nearly 1,700 rental apartments in 31 communities. CHW’s rental communities are designed to be healthy and vibrant communities that improve their neighborhoods, offering residents an array of programs to help them move up. Through our comprehensive programs, we proudly serve more than 8,000 children and adults each year. CHW is San Diego County’s only member of the national NeighborWorks Network® and an award-winning affiliate of the National Council of La Raza. Learn more at


City Heights Community Enhancement Kick-off Event

March 11th, 2014

Join Community HousingWorks, San Diego Canyonlands & Wells Fargo at the

Auburn Creek Tour & Kick-off Event

March 29, 2014 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Thanks to the generous UrbanLIFT Community Grant from Wells Fargo, Community HousingWorks (CHW) and San Diego Canyonlands (SDCL) are teaming up to transform and restore Auburn Creek  into a safe and beautiful part of the community. Hundreds of kids routinely take the shortcut path across this creek area walking to and from school, faced with an unsafe and hazardous walk. With this support from Wells Fargo, we can eliminate hazards and beautify the community.  

Residents at CHW’s neighboring Bandar Salaam Apartments will be an integral part of the restoration process. As part of this grant, CHW will also be making substantial improvements to the apartments, including fixing the parking lot, improving landscaping and more. 

Event Information:

Join us on March 29th for a creek tour, Wells Fargo check presentation and a chance to get a glimpse of the vision for this creek area. Representative Juan Vargas will speak about the importance of San Diego’s unique creek and canyon ecosystems and how this project will benefit the City Heights community. Youth residents from CHW’s neighboring Bandar Salaam Apartments will also do a mini clean-up of the creek to prepare for the upcoming Creek-to-Bay cleanup in April.

Meet at the entrance to Bandar Salaam Apartments at 3810 Winona Ave. Please wear sun protection and wear sturdy shoes. The event will take place rain or shine (unless it’s pouring)!

For more information, please contact Linda Pennington at or 619-972-4921

Councilmember Marti Emerald and volunteers at Auburn Creek
for Coastal Cleanup Day, 2013



Categories: News Stories, Newsletters

Open House on April 10th

March 10th, 2014

We will be hosting an Open House event on Thursday, April 10th at our City Heights office from 4 – 7pm. Come learn more about our realty, lending, and financial coaching services! Knowledgeable staff members will be on site to answer all your questions about home buying, selling, and finances.

Throughout the event, community members will have the opportunity to sit in on short, informative presentations, meet 1-on-1 with expert REALTORS®, loan officers, and financial coaches, and enjoy refreshments while socializing with your neighbors. And make sure to sign up for the raffles. We will be giving away free class vouchers (each a $60 value), gift baskets, a $500 closing cost credit, and more!

City Heights Open House

Informational sessions will be held as follows:

4:30pm: Down Payment and Specialty Mortgage Loans- Learn about unique down payment and specialty loans that can help you get into a home with less upfront costs! Find out if you could qualify.

5:00pm:  How to Raise Your Credit Score- If your credit took a hit during the financial crisis or if you just need ideas for how to boost your overall score, we have credit-building strategies you can use!

5:30pm: Market Trends: San Diego Hot Spots- Find out which neighborhoods have the best deals!

6:00pm: Homebuyers Q & A- Are you considering buying a home? It can come with a lot of questions. Ask our expert team the questions you’ve been considering.

Event Details:
4 – 7pm on Thursday, April 10, 2014
4010 Fairmount Avenue
San Diego, CA 92105

Questions? Please contact Ashley Jones at or (619) 450-8693.

Use Your Ralph’s Card to Support CHW!

February 19th, 2014

CHW and RalphsWe are excited to present a new way to support CHW’s efforts to help people and communities move up in the world! If you shop at Ralph’s Grocery store you can now register your rewards card online and link your account to Community HousingWorks. This will not only save you money at the checkout, but a portion of the proceeds will go directly to CHW. Follow the instructions below or see the attachment to register your rewards card and start saving.

Register Your Rewards Card:

  • Simply register online at
  • Be sure to have your Ralphs REWARDS card handy and register your card with CHW after you sign up.
  • If a member does not yet have a Ralphs REWARDS card, they are available at the customer service desk at any Ralphs.
  • Once you are online, click on Community / Community Contributions / enroll as a new user.
  • Most participants are new online customers, so click on GET STARTED, SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘Create An Account’ section.
  • Follow the easy step-by-step instructions to create an account.
  • After you create your online account, then link your account with CHW by editing your Community Rewards Information on your profile page.
  • Now, view your profile including your organization participation.
  • REMEMBER, purchases will not count for your group until after your member(s) register their card(s).
  • Do you use your phone number at the register? Call 800-660-9003 to get your REWARDS card number.
  • Members must swipe their registered Ralphs REWARDS card or use the phone number that is linked to their registered Ralphs REWARDS card when shopping for each purchase to count.
Categories: News Stories, Newsletters