On the same day that the Senate and Assembly voted to eliminate redevelopment agencies, the Economic Development Agency of San Bernardino announced that it recently accepted a Spirit Award from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The award recognizes Eastpointe Village, a multi-phase neighborhood stabilization project that the agency undertook in 2009.

Each year the Spirit Award is given to just a few projects that capture the spirit of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), a federal grant program administered by HUD to stabilize communities suffering from foreclosures and abandoned properties. Agency representatives accepted the award during a NSP Recognition Day event hosted by HUD’s Los Angeles field office.

Eastpointe Village was a blighted neighborhood located at 19th Avenue and Sunrise Lane that was characterized by abandoned multi-family units and foreclosed properties. HUD representatives selected the project for the coordinated efforts and resources that have improved the overall safety and appearance of the community. The agency and its partner, Mary Erickson Community Housing, have been successful in lowering the crime rate, reducing the number of foreclosures, and providing 124 residents with safe, clean and affordable housing.

“In a relatively short period of time, tremendous progress has been made to reshape this community,” said Emil Marzullo, Economic Development Agency interim executive director.  “It is an honor to be recognized for the exemplary labor and accomplishments shown by our team. Reducing blight and stabilizing our neighborhoods is important to providing residents quality of life.”

The agency has allocated $2.7 million in NSP grant funds and approximately $3 million in local housing funds to complete the project. Project goals include reducing the number of multi-family rental properties, upgrading the remaining rental units and building senior housing and approximately 40 single family homes.

“This award validates the hard work we have devoted to turning a distressed community into a place where our residents want to live,” said Carey Jenkins, director of housing and community development. “We accept the award with delight and will continue to execute the mission of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”

About the Economic Development Agency of San Bernardino
The Economic Development Agency of San Bernardino is a focused, diversified organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of San Bernardino by creating jobs, eliminating physical and social blight, supporting culture and the arts, developing a balanced mix of quality housing, along with attracting and assisting businesses both independent and through public-private partnerships. For more information, visit www.sbrda.org.