Hector L. Cruz has been in the real estate business for over 28 years with property management and crisis resolution experience. As Divisional Vice President for WinnResidential, he is responsible for 35 apartment communities totaling 2,187 units, including Section 42, Section 236, Section 8, and HOME financed properties in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hector spoke with us about the positive impact of economic development corporations (EDC’s) like Dorchester Bay in the communities they serve.
How did you first become involved with Dorchester Bay?
In 2003, I worked with Dorchester Bay on my first development deal. The project was the rehabilitation of the Sister Clara Muhammad Housing Cooperative that created 25 affordable rental units. It was the beginning of my long history of work with Dorchester Bay, including managing Cottage Brook Apartments.
From your perspective, why are community development and organizations like Dorchester Bay are an important resource to the communities they serve?
Organizations like Dorchester Bay are the heartbeat of the community. The resident services at CDCs are the boots on the ground in the community. They play a key role in working closely with residents to help identify the community’s challenges and needs by providing support through programs and services that assist with housing and workforce development.
Is there anything you can say about Dorchester Bayʼs commitment to the Dorchester community?
Dorchester Bay believes in creating opportunities for all, including small businesses. Dorchester Bay supports small business owners by providing resources to launch, maintain, and grow their business. Jamaican Mi Hungry is a good example of a small business that started its operations as a food truck at Bornstein & Pearl and support from the Dorchester Bay Neighborhood Business Loans program. The small business has since expanded to a restaurant in New Hampshire, which my daughter visits often. They recently opened a second location in Jamaica Plain near my office.
As a donor, what aspects of Dorchester Bay’s mission motivated you to go beyond a business partnership to support our work directly?
As I got more involved in community development work, I learned that financial resources are needed to help Dorchester Bay provide services to assist families and small businesses readily; donor support can make a difference and improve the quality of life for community members in need.
As a member of the Columbia Circle Giving Society, we believe in Dorchester Bay’s mission and saw it as an opportunity to invest in the community impactfully.
Is there anything in particular that you’d want people to know about you or WinnResidential that they might not be aware of or might be surprised to know?
To our success, we hold ourselves to a very high standard. We are part of the community and bring a strong sense of accountability to the job. We do the best we can during difficult circumstances. It has been a challenging year for all of us, and I credit my team members for putting their lives on the line every day to serve residents and the community to ensure everyone has a safe place to live.