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Community Corp Connect!
 Dear Friends and Advocates, 

I hope you are all feeling healthy and optimistic! There is a lot of buzz in the housing world – from Housing Elements, to neighborhood plan updates, to new bills being introduced in the State legislature and Covid relief on the way. At Community Corp, we are involved in many policy discussions and hope that you will stay engaged, too – we need the voices of supportive community members at all the housing discussions on social media and at community meetings. We are also contemplating a reckoning with our area’s (and nation’s) historical patterns of segregation and racism, and are exploring what we can do to right the wrongs of the past. In addition, Community Corp is interested in supporting small businesses as part of our empowerment strategies (more on that below). There are plenty of ways to be involved in housing issues – feel free to reach out if you want to learn more. Here’s hoping the vaccine is coming to us all, soon! 

Stay positive,

Tara Barauskas
Executive Director

🚧 Project Updates 🚧

Greenway Meadows
Construction at Greenway Meadows is almost finished! 

Community Corp.'s first senior affordable housing building, Greenway Meadows will provide 38 one-bedroom units of affordable housing to persons 62 and older. The building will include onsite laundry and community rooms, a library/computer lab, air conditioning, wifi, energy-efficient appliances, and a rooftop deck with barbeques. 

We will be commemorating the opening of Greenway Meadows in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned for more information! 
 
Learn More Here About Greenway Meadows
Las Flores 
 
Las Flores has started construction! This exciting, 73-unit development is located on 14th Street between Pico and Michigan in Santa Monica, and will be our latest development serving low-income families. It was originally projected as a 55-unit building, but thanks to recent laws, including AB1763, we were able to add an additional floor without losing any time, allowing us to serve even more families. Many thanks to the City of Santa Monica’s Housing Division for their partnership on this project. Stay tuned as construction progresses!
Community Corp Staff Spotlight: Daisy Miguel
What got you into the field of affordable housing?

I did not grow up in the best housing conditions. My parents really struggled to make their rent at times and the older I became the more I understood that there were a lot of families just like mine. When I entered the UCLA Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning program, I knew I wanted to improve folks' living conditions but I really did not know how to make that possible. I took an introductory affordable housing course with Joan Ling and she showed me it was possible to improve folks' living conditions through affordable housing. I truly think that course and Joan were the catalysts to me going into affordable housing, it gave me a taste of what this work is about. 
 
What aspect is the most interesting to you about developing affordable housing?
 
My favorite aspect of the development process is construction. Going to a construction site and seeing the project come to fruition makes all the administrative work worth it. I also really like that the construction site always provides an opportunity for me to learn and ask questions of the general contractor, architect or construction manager. I feel like I am always picking up new information and that I am constantly learning. 

Tell us about one project that you find particularly rewarding to work on.
 
I think some of the most rewarding projects are also the ones that present the most challenges. My 1819 Pico Blvd development has provided a lot of lessons for me that I think ultimately will make me a better project manager. I am really excited to be a part of this project. I think it’s not only providing some necessary housing but it also is helping reinvigorate the commercial corridor along Pico Blvd. 

What do you like best about working at Community Corp?

I think the best part about working at Community Corp. is that there is a lot of institutional knowledge. Most of the directors and staff at Community Corp. have been there for several years so they can offer advice or knowledge on past deals. Creating affordable housing is a really cumbersome process and requires help from a lot of different departments, it's nice to know that there is a team behind you helping you push the deal forward. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In the before times, I used to hike a lot and take backpacking trips whenever I got a chance. COVID-19 has changed a lot of how we do things, so I have been trying to find new hobbies. One of the hobbies I have picked up during quarantine is skating. I find empty parking lots and just go skate. It’s a good solo activity and gives me an opportunity to catch up on podcasts or listen to music. Currently, I am practicing my turns. 
 
Community Corp Resident Puts Microgrant to Work

We are proud of the Community Corp residents who received microgrants from the City of Santa Monica to support their work on community projects. We will be highlighting one recipient in each of our coming newsletters.

This month, we want to thank resident Maggie Ehrig, who used her grant to teach sewing skills to children in her building while providing much-needed childcare for her neighbors. Maggie was recently featured in Civic Wellbeing Partners' winter newsletter for her work! 

Thank you, Maggie! 

To learn more about the City's microgrant program, please see below! 
Learn More about Microgrants
*Photo courtesy of Civic Wellbeing Partners
Calling all Entrepreneurs!
 
Community Corp is working to find ways to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in our community! We have an exciting opportunity to share! 

Molcajete Dominguero is partnering with us to create a small business marketplace on the ground floor of our 1819 Pico development, which will start construction in April. If you’re interested in participating or know someone that might be, please reach out to Daisy at dmiguel@communitycorp.org. Preference for this space will be given to local small businesses in Santa Monica.
 
Interested in Housing Advocacy? 
Are you passionate about housing equity in our region? We are creating a new advocates list for any housing advocacy opportunities and invite you to join in! We will e-blast any community meetings or policy discussions that you may want to participate in. Simply email Tara at tbarauskas@communitycorp.org if you would like to be on the list. Thank you for supporting affordable housing in our community!
 
We're Hiring! 
Community Corp is looking to hire a Property Supervisor and a Resident Manager. The Property Supervisor oversees a portfolio of affordable housing buildings in Santa Monica and interfaces with residents to ensure their satisfaction and meet their needs. The Resident Manager lives at the property and is responsible for being Community Corp's representative at the property. For more information on these exciting opportunities, please visit us at https://www.communitycorp.org/jobs/
 

Our Reading List

"Hate has no place in Santa Monica, or anywhere" 
By Tara Barauskas and Dr. Karen Gunn | The Santa Monica Daily Press 

"It is up to each of us to break that silence, to choose to treat people with compassion and understanding, rather than prejudice and hate. The challenges of this moment are not an excuse to discriminate or belittle people to make yourself feel better. When you see an act of hate in our community– name it – do something about it –Stand Up for Justice!" 
Read the Full Piece Here
"Construction begins at Las Flores affordable housing community"
By Carla Harter | Santa Monica Daily Press 

"'Affordable housing benefits the whole community,'” said Barauskas. “'If you put housing near jobs people won’t have to commute as far and it will free up traffic congestion and improve air quality. Affordable housing in affluent neighborhoods like Santa Monica creates diverse and inclusive communities.'" 

Read the Full Piece Here
"Why Los Angeles County should not return to normal after the pandemic" 
By Margaret Crable | USC Dornsife   

"The current pandemic has disproportionately affected the poor, people of color, undocumented immigrants and the elderly, highlighting pre-existing issues in these L.A. communities. Cracks in social services and economic opportunities, which could be ignored prior to the pandemic, suddenly buckled livelihoods as illness and economic destitution swept the city." 
Read the Full Piece Here
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