THE CPC WAY / Community Development

Facing Today’s Challenges

By Rafael E. Cestero, Chief Executive Officer

As I write this, we’re all doing what we can to protect our loved ones, our friends, and our communities, from the threat of COVID-19, all while dealing with our own personal and professional challenges. While it is abundantly clear that times have changed, I assure you that CPC’s mission has not.

CPC continues to be guided by our values as a company and our commitment to the communities we serve. What does that look like today?

We’re taking steps to protect the health and safety of our team members, and while these times require us all to rethink our business and our strategies, we are here to support our partners as best we can.

The market has shifted drastically. There is more risk and more uncertainty about the way forward. As an industry that is committed to improving our communities, we are facing challenges that we haven’t seen before.

Many of these changes are unsettling, but it’s something we’ve all been thrust into. CPC was founded in 1974, in the midst of one of NYC’s darkest hours, to meet the challenge of bringing stable capital to massively disinvested and distressed neighborhoods. We’ve been there with our government partners and our borrowers though recessions, bubbles, and natural disasters - doing our best to adapt and meet each challenge.

Together we’re facing this new crisis that’s not only hitting low-income, marginalized and underserved communities – it’s also hitting building owners that rely on rental income to provide safe, clean, and stable housing to their tenants.

Recently I joined former NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen to co-author an op-ed in the New York Daily News, shining a light on the irresponsible and short-sighted calls by some advocates for uniform rent strikes. Instead of pitting renters and owners against each other in a time of crisis, we should be aligning our interests and pushing Congress to include rental assistance in the next stimulus package.

If we’re going to eventually restart our economic engine, we’ll need to work together to rethink what that will look like. Picking old fights and playing bumper sticker politics isn’t going to work. The causes are different, the economics are different, and the solutions will need to be different. The way forward will require a hard and honest look at the post-COVID landscape as well as discussions with all stakeholders about the new reality of how we can best serve our communities.

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration.

By Rafael E. Cestero, Chief Executive Officer
Rafael E. Cestero is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), and a member of its board of directors.


Next Up

United We Stand
By Rafael E. Cestero about Community Development