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Assembly Housing Working Group Tours the Inland Empire

By Daniel Peeden
Communications Director
10/19/2021 at 09:26 AM

As part of the statewide tours, Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) and Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) hosted the Assembly Housing Working Group in the Inland Empire this week. The group — comprised of legislators from throughout California— spent the day meeting with local elected officials, housing experts and other stakeholders to tour affordable housing in the Inland Empire and to discuss the unique challenges and solutions being used by local governments, not-for-profit organizations and developers.  

“The Inland Empire is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the United States and it is important that my colleagues in the State Legislature hear from our community on their housing needs and their challenges and see how unique our region is. I wanted them to see the solutions being deployed to tackle the issue of homelessness and affordable housing,” said Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Reyes. “This housing tour and discussion is just the beginning in what I hope will be a series of discussions to identify solutions and fund the models we know are working and being deployed by our community.” 

The day included a panel and roundtable discussion hosted by Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) and Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) and moderated by Maria Razo, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of San Bernardino County. Participants in the panel included Lorraine Kindred, Vice President of Public Affairs, National CORE; Kim Carter, Founder, Time for Change Foundation; David Kersh, Executive Director, Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee and Tim Johnson, Chief Operating Officer, Quality Management Group/LaBarge Industries.  Sites toured in San Bernardino County: Phoenix Square, Pacific Village, Arrowhead Grove, Bloomington Grove & Lillian Court. 

The State Assemblymembers completed their day touring Las Coronas Affordable Communities in Riverside County, followed by a panel discussion. The participants included Michael Walsh, Deputy Director, Riverside County Affordable Housing and Community Services; Michelle Davis, Housing Authority Manager, City of Riverside; Karen Roper, Manager of Homeless Solutions, City of Corona and Vice Chair, Riverside County Continuum of Care; Gabriel Maldonado, Executive Director and CEO, TruEvolution Inc. and Damien O’Farrell, Chief Executive Officer, Parkview Legacy Foundation and Steering Committee Member, Inland SoCal Housing Collective. 

“The greater Riverside metropolitan area has the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters in the entire State, 30% of whom must spend at least half of their income on rent. Riverside County is currently at a deficit of 51,000 affordable homes for low-income renters, and the gap keeps growing every year, ” said Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona). “I was proud to join Assembly Majority Leader Gomez Reyes in welcoming our legislative colleagues on the Assembly Housing Working Group to the 60th District for the Inland Empire Regional Roundtable, highlighting the needs of our region. Coming together is the only way that we will find solutions to our housing crisis.”

“I was thankful to have been invited to this Assembly housing forum.  It was refreshing to see private and public partnerships working together showing successful outcomes here in the Inland Empire.  We have monumental challenges ahead as we address our housing crisis. This kind of engagement reminds us we must focus on fixes that are honest and real,” Assembly Member Tom Lackey, 36th Assembly District.

The Assembly Housing Working Group Inland Empire tour was attended by Assembly Members from across the state, including , Eloise Gómez Reyes (San Bernardino), Sabrina Cervantes (Riverside), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Ontario), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Robert Rivas (D-Salinas), Tim Grayson (D-Concord), Mia Bonta (D-Alameda), Marc Levine (D-Marin County), Chris Ward (D-San Diego), Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), Laura Friedman (Glendale) as well as staff from the offices of Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Assembly Housing Committee Chair David Chiu (D-San Francisco), The Assembly Working Group, led by Assembly Members Grayson and Rivas, have conducted a statewide series of regional roundtables and site visits—including the Bay Area, Central Coast, Central Valley, and Southern California—to inform policy ideas that the working group may want to pursue in 2022.

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