Cesar Chavez Foundation, Partners Break Ground on High-quality Affordable Housing Community in Pomona, California

Pomona, CA – The Cesar Chavez Foundation, City of Pomona, Citi, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and UnitedHealthcare announced the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing community in Pomona. Chris Hartmire Plaza, named after the late Reverend Chris Hartmire, is being developed by the Cesar Chavez Foundation and will create 90 units of affordable housing for low-income families and homeless veterans on a formerly vacant lot.

The groundbreaking marks the start of construction of the 90 units, comprised of 30 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, and 30 three-bedroom units reserved for families earning between 30%-60% AMI, along with units reserved for persons with disabilities, including individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Through a partnership with Tri-Cities Mental Health Center, a public agency providing mental health services to the communities of Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne, residents will have access to on-site social service programs. Additionally, the development will feature an on-site health clinic. East Valley Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides medical, dental, and mental health services to the East San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Communities, will occupy an approximately 6,756 square-foot ground-floor health clinic servicing residents and the local community.

“Chris Hartmire Plaza is a critical addition to our community, and we are proud to bring this much-needed affordable housing to Pomona,” said Paul Chavez, President of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “Our mission is to improve the lives of working families, and this development is a significant step towards achieving that goal.”

“We are pleased to be a part of the financing for the Chris Hartmire Plaza. The combination of affordable apartments with supportive services and healthcare in one LEED-certified building will be transformative to the City of Pomona,” said Carrie Lee, Director at Citi Community Capital.

The highly sustainable LEED-certified buildings, designed by Onyx Architects, will feature a publicly accessible pocket park at the center of the project site. Additional features include common areas, a community center, tot lot, and laundry facilities.

The total development cost for the project is $75.8 million. The project is receiving 28 project-based vouchers from the Housing Authority of Pomona, in which eight will be dedicated to veterans. In addition, the project received $1.7 million from the City of Pomona in the form of a development impact fee note and permanent local housing allocation funds. The California Department of Housing and Community Development is investing $20.8 million through their Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities and No Place Like Home programs; in addition, $4.6 million in grant funds from California Housing Accelerator. Citi provided an additional $58 million in construction financing, and $13 million in subordinate construction financing was provided through a partnership between CPC, UnitedHealth Group, and CSH. The San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust is investing $1 million into project.

“Chris Hartmire Plaza will not only create dozens of new affordable homes and provide supportive services to its tenants, it will also provide a new healthcare resource that is accessible to the broader community,” said Robert Riggs, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, the Community Preservation Corporation. “As a non-profit lender dedicated to addressing our nation’s housing crisis, CPC is proud to partner with the Cesar Chavez Foundation, the City of Pomona, Citibank, UnitedHealthcare Group and CSH on this project that will serve the unique housing needs of the Pomona community.”

“UnitedHealth Group recognizes the strong connection between housing and health to improving health,” said Steve Cain, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of California, part of UnitedHealth Group, which has invested more than $800 million to build new affordable housing communities in more than 25 states, including $70 million in California. “Building new affordable housing for vulnerable people is an investment in the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.”

“Today’s groundbreaking represents what is possible when cross-sector institutions collaborate to support much-needed affordable supportive housing,” said Debbie Thiele, Managing Director, Western Region at CSH. “Chris Hartmire Plaza is an example of how the state can address the critical need we identified through the CA Needs Assessment to bridge affordable housing and healthcare services for people experiencing complex barriers to housing.”

The property is named after Reverend Chris Hartmire, who worked with civil rights and labor leader Cesar Chavez and other early organizers before there was a farm worker union. Hartmire selflessly dedicated himself for decades to building what became the United Farm Workers (UFW). Always humble and soft-spoken, Chris inspired countless women and men to activism and “servanthood” by dedicating themselves to the UFW and other good works.