The Certified Organization for Resident Engagement & Services (CORES) Certification recognizes organizations that have developed a robust commitment, capacity, and competency in providing resident services coordination in affordable rental housing. In addition, this website provides resources, tools, and best practices to help providers of resident services coordination to improve their service delivery and management systems.
A resident services coordination system refers to all functions tied to the organizational mission to implement resident services in affordable housing rental properties, including corporate and site-based staff, funding, technology systems, services and programs, research and evaluation, organizational knowledge, and the tools necessary to support resident services
Framework for Resident Services Coordination
Quality, affordable housing is a foundational social determinant of health and can serve as a platform to increase access to opportunity and promote the independence and dignity of residents. In order to realize the full benefits of housing as a platform to create healthier and more equitable communities, housing and services must be connected in a way that not only provides resources to residents, but also recognizes and supports the agency of residents and gives them real voice and shared power in shaping the design, culture, and the operations of their community. A systematic and strategic approach to resident services coordination is a critical tool for making such a connection.
In 2016, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) formed a Community of Practice and worked with SAHF members to better understand and define the key capacities, approaches, and structures that have been developed by many leading affordable housing organizations to systematically and thoughtfully frame and implement resident services at their properties. The goal of this work was to identify replicable and scalable approaches to resident services – both at the organizational/corporate level and property levels. Following extensive engagement with SAHF members and other partners in the health, social services, and education fields, SAHF created the Framework for a System of Resident Services Coordination, which was initially published in 2018.
This 2021 Update to the Framework for a System of Resident Services Coordination (Framework) builds off the original tool and highlights the commitments that many in the field are making to re-imagine some of the power structures and decision-making policies that have historically shaped affordable housing development and resident services initiatives. In addition to laying out some of the common elements and recommendations for an effective implementation of a systems-approach to resident services, the Framework now also identifies key strategies and opportunities to implement more resident-centered practices and processes to support greater equity and resident well-being.
Introductory Webinar: CORES 101 Overview of the Certification & Application
Recorded and published in March, 2022
The CORES Certification recognizes organizations with a proven track record of providing quality resident services coordination in affordable rental housing. Achieving CORES Certification signals an organization's commitment to the highest standards for resident services, a deep commitment to resident health and well-being, and data-informed operations and decision making.
Access Funding and Partnerships
Organizations regularly leverage CORES certification to unlock funding and partnership opportunities. CORES Certification is one key requirement in order for an owner of multifamily affordable housing to qualify for Fannie Mae™ Healthy Housing Rewards—Enhanced Resident Services™, a financing incentive to help pay for resident services.
The Value of CORES Certification for Practitioners
- 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.
- Access Funding and Partnerships: CORES certification unlocks opportunity for partnerships, funding, and financing, including Fannie Mae’s Healthy Housing Rewards™—Enhanced Resident Services™ (ERS) program.
- Deepen Impact and Understanding: 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.
Hear about the impact and added value of the CORES Certification from Community Housing Partners (CHP), who earned their CORES certification in 2020:
The Value of CORES Certification for Partners
- Improved Health Outcomes: Housing is a key social determinant of health and CORES certified organizations understand that investments in resident services lead to greater resident health outcomes.
- Accountable and Collaborative Partners: CORES organizations understand the value of partnerships that center resident outcomes. In order to achieve certification, organizations are evaluated on the process for selecting partners and their process for ensuring alignment across partnership goals and outcomes. The CORES certification helps bring together committed organizations and partners to improve resident outcomes in a more meaningful way.
- Data-Driven Approach to Resident Impact: CORES certified organizations leverage data to make more informed decisions about operations and programming, prioritizing measurable impact on residents’ health and well-being. CORES certification puts forth a process to guide data collection that helps organizations set goals for improvement, deepen impact, and communicate meaningfully about impact to internal and external audiences.
The Certified Organization for Resident Engagement & Services (CORES) Certification recognizes organizations that have developed a robust commitment, capacity, and competency for providing resident services coordination in affordable rental housing. Achieving CORES certification signals an organization’s commitment to the highest standards for resident services, a deep commitment to resident health and well-being, and data-informed operations and decision-making. Organizations with a scalable and adaptable systems approach to resident services infrastructure, supporting resident engagement and programming in multiple properties, are eligible to pursue the CORES certification.
Organizations regularly leverage CORES certification to unlock funding and partnership opportunities. CORES Certification is one key requirement in order for an owner of multifamily affordable housing to qualify for Fannie Mae™ Healthy Housing Rewards—Enhanced Resident Services™, a financing incentive to help pay for resident services. Please visit Fannie Mae's website to learn more about the Healthy Housing Rewards™ Initiative.