1221_GSEC Digital Edition - Page 36

Left to right : Gary Simon , CleanStart ; Suzanne Dizon , SMUD ; Thomas Hall , CleanStart ; Kiara Reed , CleanStart smud . org / EconDev
IN YOUR VIEW , WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A COMMUNITY BANK ? We ’ re very engaged in our community and always looking for ways to improve our environment . We uplift the Greater Sacramento area to the extent that we can . It ’ s part of our DNA to be helpful and in service to our community . We ’ re very involved in economic development and also helping nonprofits that are service providers to those who are less fortunate or disadvantaged .
WHAT IS FIVE STAR BANK ’ S ROLE IN THE CRC ? We came up with the idea that if we pooled our resources together , we could actually do some pretty interesting and helpful things with respect to creating affordable housing . We ’ re not going to put our tool belts on and start slamming nails , but we can help finance it and be part of creating equity and creating affordable housing units — apartments , to be specific . … We ’ re working on some deals right now , but it will ( probably take until ) the end of the year or the first quarter of next year . We think of it as an ongoing program , not just a one-time shot . Going through upwards of $ 100 million is not going to happen overnight , but rather over a period of years .
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST FINANCIAL OBSTACLE TO BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING ? If you ’ re going to be in the affordable housing space as a developer , you have to be very patient and look for your opportunity . As a bank who helps finance those developers and their projects , we have to be equally as patient and look for opportunities to come along . … There ’ s a pretty big footprint here in terms of population , so we know there are going to be opportunities , but people have to be aware of what we ’ re trying to do . Our mission as individual banks and as a group is to let people know we ’ re interested in doing this and see if we can help you . There ’ s some outreach involved . But ultimately , we ’ re deeply rooted in the community and ( the CRC is ) our chance — and our responsibility — to give back and make this program work . We ’ re all very excited about it .

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We ’ re proud to support local clean technology ventures like CleanStart to meet our 2030 Zero Carbon Goal .
Left to right : Gary Simon , CleanStart ; Suzanne Dizon , SMUD ; Thomas Hall , CleanStart ; Kiara Reed , CleanStart smud . org / EconDev
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36 comstocksmag . com | December 2021