CASA’s 2019 Annual Report
From Our Leaders
In January, CASA Board and staff members began the work of creating our next five year strategic plan. Our 2025 vision clarifies CASA’s mission and goals. We’re building on our history with an ambitious plan to improve our internal capacity, expand access to affordable housing, and to do more to end homelessness for our neighbors in need.
The strategic plan process gave us the opportunity to hear from our stakeholders, donors, and our incredible tenants. Every group told us the same thing: serve more people. As we build our bold vision for the future to do and serve more, we are aware that nothing from CASA’s past or future is possible without you.
Because of you, we plan to add 500 affordable homes by the year 2025. We’ll continue to serve more and more people each year and expand our services to make sure our tenants are secure in their homes for as long as they choose to live with us. We’ll continue to say “yes” to tenants and prospective tenants when others say “no.”
We know the causes of homelessness can be complex, but we believe the answer is simple: the solution to homelessness is housing.
Thank you for being part of the solution.
Property Management Highlights
Casa owns and manages 468 apartments across more than 50 properties in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties. Our in-house leasing and maintenance teams build relationships with tenants in order to encourage health, stability, and permanency.
Dr. Trina Clayeux joined CASA’s team as Chief Operations Officer in June 2019. Under her leadership, CASA has undertaken a rigorous capacity building effort to improve the application process and enhance the tenant experience. Staff are expanding services and seeking creative new partnerships to support our tenants in their homes.
Graduate interns from the UNC School of Planning and the NC State School of Social Work are exploring new ways to encourage stability among our tenants. Staff created a Behavioral Health Intervention Team to engage tenants who face challenges that put their housing at risk, and help tenants with one time financial assistance when a crisis occurs.
Our goal is to create a leaner application process, reduce the wait to move in, and put more supports in place to assist residents for as long as they live in a CASA home. Drawing on research about trauma-informed care and the social determinants of health, we’re focused on helping our tenants access the economic, educational, social, environmental, and health care services they need so they can thrive at home and in the world.
Edna came to Raleigh 20 years ago after living in shelters in several different cities. “I always had a job, I was always working. But it was kinda hard for me to stay stable.” Moving into a CASA home changed everything. “Now that I’m settled down,” she says, “I can enjoy people, making friends, and enjoying the holidays and getting together with family. That’s where it’s all at. Makes you feel good inside, when you all get together.” Edna loves to clean her apartment, to get mail, and to draw. “I came a long ways,” she smiles. “Now I’m happy.”
As soon as CASA finished the first phase of an apartment complex for veterans in Raleigh, Bill moved in. He had been living in a men’s shelter for two years. “I used to live in a house, owned my own business, and then I lost everything,” Bill remembers. “I can’t believe how far I’ve come since then.” The apartment means a lot to Bill. “It has planted my feet on the ground more,” he says. “I feel very supported now. As long as you want to stay here, they’ll let you stay. CASA is a great support.” Bill loves living in a community of veterans: “We take care of each other.”
Housing Development Highlights
» King’s Ridge Apartments, Raleigh
In August, CASA purchased six acres of land near Wake Med as the future site of the King’s Ridge Apartments. The complex will be named in memory of CASA’s former CEO, Debra King. CASA’s Real Estate Development team is creating the site’s master plan and funding strategy. These future homes will include family housing and offer access to public transportation and health care, making it an ideal location.
» Carroll Street, Durham
In spring 2019, Durham City Council approved CASA’s rezoning request for the land that was home to the Durham Army Reserve Center on Carroll Street, in the West End neighborhood. The future multi-family apartment complex will be constructed in phases over several years to serve individuals and families who are moving directly out of homelessness. Future tenants will enjoy preserved green space as well as access to a nearby community center, greenways, and public transportation. CASA is currently waiting for the go-ahead from the federal government to begin construction on the site.
» Merritt Mill Road, Chapel Hill-Carrboro
CASA plans to build 48 units on land that falls in both Chapel Hill and Carrboro on Merritt Mill Road. The land and rezoning have been secured. CASA is pursuing funding options.
» Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
CASA has been selected as a member of the development team for a new, mixed-income housing community on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. CASA is working with partners to secure funding.
» Collins Ridge, Hillsborough
CASA is the affordable housing partner in a new community in Hillsborough. CASA is currently waiting on the conveyance of a parcel of land from the developer and exploring funding options.
CASA’s Volunteer Program
In 2019, CASA’s volunteers were members of an active and expanding fundraising committee; interns from graduate programs at UNC, Duke, and NC State; a steady crew of office warriors ready to tackle any project; realtor groups who furnish apartments and make our properties look great; gift basket creators; and many others willing to take on any task to help our tenants.
“I don’t know what we would do without them,” says Kathleen DeRubio, Volunteer Coordinator at CASA. “We’ve really come to depend on our volunteers – they are truly a part of our family.” Her dedicated group of office volunteers helped with some major administrative projects this summer, to help us streamline procedures and communicate more effectively. We love our volunteers!
CASA’s new Strategic Plan is our roadmap for putting our mission to work through 2025.
Four Areas of Focus
Operations and Tenant Success
Real Estate Development
- Implementation of cost-saving, efficient technology
- Commitment to creating safe and welcoming office space
- Excellent internal and external communications
- Enable and foster a culture of continuous improvement to add value to tenants and staff
- Maintain financial health, determine optimal investment strategies
- Grow CASA’s fundraising program to raise $1.2 million annually
- Develop and implement an asset management plan
- Pursue diverse real estate development and funding opportunities to allow for ongoing growth to serve more people
- Define and implement CASA’s role in community advocacy
- Add 500 additional affordable housing units
Financial Highlights can be found in our full report