2023 Social Impact Report

See how #TeamCREA made an impact in 2023!

2023 Social Impact Report



Work with Purpose As a company, CREA believes there is power in purpose and holds a strong commitment to communities – not only from a business perspective, but from the deployment of a social impact model where we can effect change. Our strategy is focused on integrating into our culture the opportunity for employees to have a voice in how we meet community needs through valuing their time, talent and treasure dedicated to individuals and families who need us the most. We strive to build a culture of good embedded in the goal to leave the world a better place. Our largest social impact investment is carried out through CREA Foundation’s mission to break the cycle of poverty among 30 students from affordable housing communities by providing four-year college scholarships. This is just one example of how we’re doing our part to impact lives. Our vision is clear and focused on those who need it the most - no matter their race, place, gender or background. CREA will continue to build an environment where employees are valued, heard, respected, and where they belong. We believe the greatest solutions emerge in an environment where all voices are heard, ideas are considered, bold and big thinking is embraced, and people can grow into their fullest potential. CREA’s focus on inclusivity and belonging reflects our desire to engage employees in ways that help them thrive and innovate. We strive to make CREA the partner of choice in creating affordable housing and aim to be a force for shared progress and prosperity. Our success rests on a culture true to CREA’s values – getting results the right way and focused on a worthy mission.

Arvetta Jideonwo, MHA, CFRE Head of Social Impact


The pillars of CREA’s Social Impact Model include Philanthropy & Giving, Volunteerism, Community & Employee Engagement and CREA Foundation. All these are supported by an intentional focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, led by the Inclusion Advisory Council (IAC). Pillars of Success

• Monthly cause & awareness campaigns • Employee matching gifts • Employee referral charitable donations • Employee driven causes

• Partnerships with non-profit partners

• Employee volunteering • CREA Cares initiatives


• Property events & activities • Resident engagement • Speaker Series • Inclusion Advisory Council • Employee Resource Groups

• Student scholarships • Student wraparound services • Employee giving


Monthly Cause & Awareness Support GIVE



Philanthropy & Giving

$ 200 k+ Total Charitable Contributions (including CREA Foundation)

$ 60 k+ Total CREA Employee

Contributions to the Foundation

22 Causes Recognized & $ 3.5 k+ Employee

Matching Gifts

Organizations Supported


32% Health 14% Education & Research 18% Human Services 36% Public & Societal Benefit

(by individual organization supported, not donation amount)


VOLUN 460+ Volunteer Hours 57 Employee Volunteers Employee Volunteerism

8+ Average Volunteer

Hours Per Employee 7


CREA Property Engagements

Volunteer Events

Last year, in May of 2023, the HR team volunteered at the Wheeler Mission Center for Women & Children shelter downtown [Indianapolis], and it was an amazing experience. We served lunch to women and children from diverse backgrounds while warmly welcoming them and sharing encouraging words. Witnessing their faces light up with happiness as we interacted with them filled my heart with joy, and I would be more than happy to do it again in a heartbeat.

I appreciate the opportunity to volunteer with CREA, which allows employees the space to directly engage with and positively impact the individuals and communities we serve through our work in the affordable housing industry. Furthermore, I am grateful for CREA’s support of my outside volunteering endeavors: I am proud to work at a company that values community involvement and empowerment.

Brianna Ojata Senior HR Generalist

Payton Hodson Orr Fellow


NTEER Volunteer Activities

Blackburn Terrace, Beechwood Gardens & Hawthorne Place Apartments : Cleaned and rehabilitated community rooms Community Servings : Packaged food for distribution to individuals and families in need Horizon House : Collected gently used coats and winter garments John Arthur Flats: Fundraised in support of furniture that was built and delivered to residents Portland Parks Foundation : Performed clean up at local parks Westhab Day Springs Community Center : Packaged new homeowner kits for individuals and families Wheeler Mission Center for Women & Children: Prepared and served lunches



Inclusion Advisory Council

13 Member Employee- Led Inclusion Advisory Council



Volunteer IAC Working Group Participants

Departments Represented


ALISON Anderson

CORIN Campbell

BRIAN Everest

ARVETTA Jideonwo



KELLI Ozdemir

LAURA Mitchell

ANTHONY Richardson

NEIL Snorten

BEN Riesmeyer

SAM Smit

As part of the 2023 Speaker Series, CREA proudly hosted Marc Hardy, renowned author of “Can I Be Real? A Way to Become Comfortable Having Uncomfortable Conversations About Race” and expert in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Speaker Series

Summer Book Club


High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing by Ben Austen

Book Club Participants


EMENT IAC Employee Working Groups Working groups play an essential role in creating the culture at CREA. Under the direction and leadership of the Inclusion Advisory Council (IAC), each working group focuses on planning, executing and evaluating CREA’s DEI efforts both internally and externally. These groups are comprised of CREA employees who volunteer their time and talents to moving the work that CREA is doing in the area of DEI forward.

Working Groups Include: • Representation & Brand • Social Impact • Engagement & Belonging • Business Impact

Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led groups that join together based on similar characteristics or life experiences. ERGs allow employees to build a sense of belonging while developing strategies to create a supportive environment that meets their unique needs. Although these groups are geared to support specific affinity groups, they are open for all employees to participate as allies. ERGs Include: • ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) • Caregivers

• LGBTQ+ • Womens


In 2023, CREA Foundation raised $501K in contributions, established its second university partner, California State University, Northridge , awarded 20 additional student scholarships, and held the signature CREA Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic fundraiser, raising $131K in gross revenue. Foundation Efforts 20 Scholarships Awarded $ 5 k Average Award Per Year $ 501 k Total Raised in 2023 $ 60 k+ Contributed by CREA Employees EDUCA

CSUN Scholars and advisers pose with Arvetta Jideonwo during the 2023 Induction Ceremony.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion DEI Foundations & DEI 2.0 Training Offered Quarterly ATION

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and social impact are essential to CREA’s company culture. We believe in an inclusive culture, that allows individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated and valued for who they are and their contributions toward organizational or societal goals. Our Inclusion Advisory Council serves as champions of this work by creating a platform for open discussion, education and action opportunities that drive and support social impact programming, recruitment strategy, and diversity and inclusion goals. 3 New Employee Resource Groups Established

“Creating and maintaining a diverse workforce and inclusive culture is a process, one that I am proud to be involved in through the Inclusion Advisory Council. Serving on the IAC board has enabled me to be a better employee, leader and human.”

“Working with a group of colleagues to aid in the direction of CREA’s Social Impact and DEI efforts has deepened the purpose in my work. I am proud of the advancements CREA has made in this space. I look toward the future with an open mind so that we can continue creating an environment where everyone belongs.”

Kelli Ozdemir Managing Director, Portfolio Management

Ben Riesmeyer VP, Asset Management - Stabilized



What’s Next... In 2023, CREA made great progress in achieving its goals and objectives. We continue to look ahead at how we can make long-term impact.

Here are just some of our goals for 2024:

» Contribute $300K to philanthropic causes within the communities we serve, including CREA Foundation, and those that our employees are passionate about. » Raise $65K in charitable contributions from employees to go toward CREA Foundation for the funding of postsecondary education scholarships and wraparound services to students from affordable housing communities. » Commit to 500 volunteer service hours with 50% of our employee base volunteering and an average of 8 hours per employee . » Create a Comprehensive Social Impact Orientation for all new employees at CREA. » Expand upon current inclusion and belonging training opportunities for all employees to build on a workplace culture that embraces different perspectives and creativity.









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