Jan 15, 2019 | Share Your Beautiful
Team Turning Affordable Housing into Vibrant Communities, Beneficial State Banking Heroes
Providence Place apartment complex was a dangerous place to live for its residents, who often couldn’t afford other housing options. The John Stewart Company purchased the complex and transformed the affordable homes into a community-focused neighborhood.
Tenants at Providence Place in Sacramento remember seeing a security guard killed. They witnessed an apartment being raided and multiple robberies. Yet management didn’t seem to do much to protect the people living in the nearly 300 units of the Section 42 apartment complex. In April 2018, new owners, the John Stewart Company, purchased the apartments with the intent of turning the situation around for the tenants.
“When you say affordable housing, the first thing a person thinks is that bad people live there. But that’s not it, there are great people in affordable housing. They just can’t afford other housing,” says John Stewart Co Regional Manager Erica Fields.
The John Stewart Company began in 1978 with a commitment to providing high-quality management for affordable housing in the Bay Area. “People are under incredible pressure to move away or move into substandard housing, and they almost all pay a severe amount of their income for rent,” says Jack Gardner, John Stewart Co President and CEO.
In spring 2018, the company decided to make a difference in the lives of the residents of Providence Place. To do so, the John Stewart Company needed financing. “What really appealed to me about working with Beneficial State Bank is the fact that it was created for doing this kind of work. That’s why they exist and what their mission and their goal is,” Gardner says.
In just the first few months of new management, residents reported feeling safer. The same tenants who used to be afraid to get their own mail now meet their neighbors and, as one tenant describes, are working together to build a diverse, connected community.