When affordable homes are paired with a resident-centered approach to services, residents can achieve their goals for a healthy, thriving life, but the work of a resident-centered approach must be intentional, consistent, and properly resourced. Housing and service providers, funders, and policymakers told us that to expand the presence of affordable homes with resident services, they needed a way to identify organizations that had committed to and operationalized a resident-centered approach. So in 2018, we launched the Certified Organization for Resident Engagement and Services (CORES) Certification. CORES was built using SAHF’s Framework for a System of Resident Services Coordination as a foundation; and recognizes owner-operators and third-party providers that have developed a robust commitment, capacity, and competency in providing resident services coordination in affordable rental housing.
CORES aims to:
- establish a common language, understanding, and standards for the field of resident services;
- support continued culture and systems change at the practitioner, policymaker, and investor level;
- support and attract new sources of stable funding for resident services coordination and implementation; and
- demonstrate the impact of stable affordable housing enriched with services.
We leverage the Framework and CORES to engage with policymakers, lenders, and investors to think about investments in housing as key drivers of resident stability and well-being, to identify more sustainable funding solutions, and to identify partners that have demonstrated capacity to support improved resident outcomes.
The Value of CORES Certification
- Demonstrated Commitment to Quality: CORES certification is a signal that an organization has the highest level of commitment to industry best practices and serves as an external validation of the quality and systems-approach to these services.
- Data-Driven Approach to Resident Impact: CORES certification is a mechanism that can help an organization set goals for improvement, deepen impact, and communicate this impact internally and externally. The process of evaluating and formalizing organizational processes and practices drives a deeper understanding and commitment to resident services across an organization.
- Access Funding and Partnerships: CORES certification unlocks opportunities for partnerships, funding, and financing, including Fannie Mae’s Healthy Housing Rewards™—Enhanced Resident Services™ (ERS) program. CORES has also been incorporated into a growing number of states’ Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs)
In addition to providing information about the certification, the CORES website provides resources, tools, and best practices to help providers of resident services coordination to improve their service delivery and management systems.