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IE Latino Voices shines light on Latino-led and serving organizations.

July 3: IE Latino Voices

\Yvette Walker

With KVCR News, I'm Yvette Walker. This is IE Latino voices, where we invite representatives from Latino led and Latino serving organizations to share their stories and their impact in our region. Joining me today is Maribel Nunez, Executive Director with Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Thank you so much for being with us today, Maribel.

Maribel Nunez

Thank you for inviting me.

Yvette

Maribel, please share a bit about yourself and your work as Executive Director for Inland Equity Community Land Trust.

Maribel

Yes, Inland Equity Community Land Trust, in short IECLT. I've been part of the organization since it’s initiation in 2020. And Inland Equity Community Land Trust, our mission is to really work on social equity and sustainable development by providing high quality affordable housing and using long term ground leases to create home ownership opportunities and preserving affordable rental housing for those that are housing cost burdened.

Yvette

Can you share a bit about the key programs?

Maribel

Yes, so we have two major programs, the Affordable Housing Program, which is specifically community land trust. And one of our projects is Plan Adelanto. And then our second project is related to tenants’ rights. We have an Inland Empire Tenants Union, and we have chapters in San Bernardino County, which includes Ontario, San Bernardino, Redlands, and in the high desert, Victorville, Hesperia and Adelanto, and in Riverside County, Jurupa Valley, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris and Hemet. So yeah, we're working on those two things to try to tackle any displacement from our low income residents.

Yvette

Are there any upcoming policies we should be aware of?

Maribel
Yes, so our call to action here is we're in the end of the state budget, where the governor and the state legislature are making decisions on what to invest and what to cut. And I think that what we need to look at is, if California was a country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world, and so we shouldn't be cutting any major programs if we're saying we want to commit to affordable housing for our communities. We ask that you call the governor and your state representative to support FIP: Foreclosure Intervention Housing Preservation Program, which is to preserve affordable housing and promote resident or nonprofit organization ownership of residential real property. Funds will be made available for loans, grants, anything we could help to acquire or rehabilitate properties that are risk of foreclosure. The whole point is prevention, so people don't go homeless. And instead of cutting we need to look for proposals to increase revenue, eliminate oil and gas subsidies, tax the rich. There's so much that we can do. We don't need to cut, we need to invest.

Yvette

Maribel, are there stories that stand out to you in the work you have been able to do alongside the Inland Equity Community Land Trust?

Maribel

Yes, we were very excited about the governor passing this program, FIP in 2021, 500 million dollars. And it was supposed to invest 500 million from now to 2027. We were very surprised to hear that it was gutted. So it impacts families, people that are in the verge of selling their home or being foreclosed on. So, I do have a situation with my immediate family who lives in Eastvale. My mother, you know, she had major issues of during the foreclosure crisis since 2008 and so it's been very hard to keep the home, but she's a fighter. But, you know, just recently this year, she ended up not able to sustain it and sold it, and is currently living with my sister, and is planning to go to a mobile home park. And so the mobile home parks have seniors. That's where a lot of them are going, and that's not a safe haven, because the property owners, they could do whatever they want. They could raise the leases or the rents that they have to use for the space. So, having everybody go to mobile homes is not the solution for our seniors. Seniors are the most vulnerable that we need to protect. Programs like the Foreclosure Intervention Housing Preservation Program could benefit my mother, could benefit programs like this.

Yvette

Maribel, do you have advice for those that are facing housing insecurity?

Maribel

Yes, I would say definitely. Talk to your assembly member, your state senator, to say, invest in programs like this. And that's one of the avenues right? To make sure that there's programs like this. You could also go to our website, inlandequityclt.org if you have a situation where your home is being foreclosed on, we're here to help and to share these stories to our assembly as senator and governor. The governor does have an office here and representatives here in the Inland Empire. So definitely elevating those voices. I know that there's a lot of other programs that we could refer people for rental assistance, for down payment assistance programs, so there's some resource there, but not enough, and so that's what we're also advocating at the state level to make these programs work for our community.

Yvette

Please share the best way to learn more and connect with Inland Equity Community Land Trust.

Maribel

Definitely find us on the web, inlandequityclt.org, or you can call (562) 569-4051, and we would love for you to be part of the movement so that we have a state that better reflects our values and our budget. Budget is a value statement of how we invest and what we prioritize. So, join the movement with us. We can't do this alone. We need your help.

Yvette

Thank you so much for being with us today, Maribel.

Maribel Nunez

Thank you so much.

Yvette Walker

Join us again next week for IE Latino Voices, you can find this story and others on our website, at kvcrnews.org/ielatinovoices. IE Latino Voices is produced by KVCR Public Media, and is funded by generous support from the CIELO Fund at IECF, uplifting and investing in the IE’s Latino community. For KVCR News, I'm Yvette Walker.

Yvette Walker is a Spanish bilingual, Southern California native and owner of Premier Marketing & Public Relations, a full-service, digital media and traditional media marketing and public relations firm and produces and hosts ABC News Affiliate - Southern California Business Report.