We hosted our Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 25, 2018. The meeting was well-attended by 70 guests including elected officials, municipal employees, housing and supportive care entities, housing developers, financial institutions and others interested in increasing the supply of affordable housing in Ventura County. The meeting included a discussion about:
Listen to this 30-min pod cast about the effect and impact of the Thomas Fire. Includes comments by Ventura architect Nick Deitch of Main Street Architects and Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of VCHTF.
Three new Ventura County cities have become municipal investors in VCHTF by contributing to our Revolving Loan Fund. These cities are now able to receive priority funding when loan applications in those jurisdictions are being underwritten. The cities are demonstrating their support for the needs of the people who live and/or work in their community. Participation in VCHTF also assists with the cities with meeting their Housing Element requirements and obtaining credits for the creation of affordable housing.
City of Oxnard: In June 2017 Oxnard contributed an investment of $200,000. We appreciate Mayor Tim Flynn, Council-members Carmen Ramirez, Bryan MacDonald, Oscar Madrigal, Bert Perello, City Manager Greg Nyhoff, Assistant City Manager Ruth Osuna and Housing Director Arturo Casillas for their vote of confidence and efforts. VCHTF recently approved a $500,000 loan to Habitat for Humanity to construct 6 low-income, deed-restricted, for-sale, single-family homes in Oxnard. We are currently reviewing another loan application for farm-worker and special needs housing in Oxnard.
City of Fillmore: In July 2017 Fillmore invested $50,000 to VCHTF. Thank you to Mayor Carrie Broggie, Council-members Manuel Minjares, Diane McCall, Mark Austin, Tim Holmgren, and City Manager David Rowlands for their commitment to affordable housing and VCHTF. We look forward to helping fund a project in Fillmore.
City of Camarillo: In September, the City of Camarillo renewed their support for VCHTF by providing an additional $50,000 investment. In 2012, Camarillo was one of the first 5 cities to support VCHTF with a $100,000 contribution. Assistant Community Development Director David Moe currently serves on the VCHTF Board of Directors. Much appreciation to City Manager Dave Norman, Community Development Director Joe Vacca, Mayor Jan MacDonald and Council-members Charlotte Craven, Mike Morgan, Kevin Kildee and Tony Trembly for their continued support and confidence.
City of Port Hueneme: On Nov. 6, 2017, the City Council voted to make a $50,000 investment to VCHTF in support of affordable housing. Mayor Pro-tem Sylvia Munoz Schnopp, Council-members Jonathan Sharkey, Will Berg, and City Manager Rod Butler were instrumental in securing this donation and we appreciate their support. We anticipate in the near future being able to help fund additional affordable housing in the City.
This six-home single-family housing project is Ventura County Housing Trust Fund's most recent loan. We will be providing $500,000 toward construction costs at an 18-month term. This loan marks our first project with Habitat for Humanity, our first loan for single-family homes, and our first non-rental low-income housing project.
From a VC Star article published 8-24-2017 by Wendy Leung
Next summer six families will move into brand new homes they helped build in Oxnard's neighborhood of La Colonia. But the celebration of the six-home Habitat for Humanity project begins Saturday. Officials have invited the community to join the selected families in a groundbreaking ceremony at 9 a.m. at the project site, 125 N. Hayes Avenue.
The two- and three-bedroom homes are affordable units, costing the families less than $250,000. "In Ventura County, overall, there's a tremendous need for affordable housing," said Steve Dwyer, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County. "Our mission is to provide safe, decent, affordable homes for purchase."
The $1.8 million project has been subsidized through partnerships with agencies like Gold Coast Health Plan, which donated $75,000 for the project. The grant is part of a Community Health Investments program that supports improvements to health care access, food security and neighborhood environments.
A housing nonprofit such as Habitat for Humanity may not be a traditional partner for health care agencies but that is starting to change, said Dale Villani, chief executive officer of Gold Coast Health Plan, a public agency serving Ventura County Medi-Cal members. "There's a fair number of homeless people in Ventura County and many of them are actual members of Gold Coast Health Plan," Villani said. "We like our members to have safe and healthy homes to live in."
Villani said there are many factors in determining a person's health and they include a healthy living environment. "Health care is really looking at the whole person," he said.
The health plan grant, totaling $1.5 million, was awarded to 16 local organizations including FOOD Share, Brain Injury Center of Ventura County and Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project. There were 23 groups that applied for the grant.
"We were very pleased to see a company with the presence of Gold Coast clearly making that link between investing in the health of a family to improving the community over time," Dwyer said.
The La Colonia project also received support from the city of Oxnard, Department of Housing and Urban Development, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, West Coast Air Conditioning, Ventura County Community Development Corporation and Ventura County Housing Trust Fund.
VC Star, published Aug. 6, 2017
Tyler Hersko, Tyler.Hersko@vcstar.com, 805-437-0312
Link to full article on VC Star site
Several of Ventura County’s leading advocates of affordable housing will gather for a public fundraising event focused on farmworker housing Sept. 21 at the Camarillo Ranch.
The event, titled Housing Our Agricultural Workforce and hosted by the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund, will include beer, wine, entertainment, a silent auction, a locally sourced dinner provided by Tim Kilcoyne, owner of Scratch Food Truck, and several guest speakers.
Funds raised at the event will be used to create new affordable housing throughout the county. Speakers will discuss the importance of supporting affordable housing for the county’s agricultural workers.
Fundraisers such as Housing Our Agricultural Workforce help support the county’s farming community, which is a crucial component of the region’s economy, according to Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund.
Agriculture is such a big economic benefit to our county, and if we cannot provide a labor force to work in our fields, we lose billions of dollars,” Braunschweiger said in an interview. “Residents need to understand that Ventura County’s beauty and economic future is hinged on its ag community. In order to sustain that, we need to have the labor force available, and they need good housing.”
VC Star, published July 6, 2017; Tyler Hersko , Tyler.Hersko@vcstar.com, 805-437-0312
For Leticia Chavez, a Ventura resident and mother of two, affordable housing is not a controversial political issue, but an important factor in providing a safe environment for her family and an opportunity to be a contributing member of society.
“I used to live in a garage with my family,” Chavez, 49, said. “Now, instead of sleeping on a couch, each of my daughters has their own room and I can provide a safer, better standard of living for my family. It’s a priority to have dignified, safe housing for our community.”
Chavez is one of approximately 248 tenants in Ventura’s Azahar Place Apartments, a complex that dedicates 60 of its housing units to low-income families and farmworkers. The property, managed by Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, which advocates for and provides affordable housing initiatives, allows individuals such as Chavez to raise their families in a clean and affordable community. Chavez has lived in the Azahar Place Apartments since it opened five years ago and noted that without the property’s affordable rent, her family would be forced to live in substandard and unsafe housing such as garages.
VC Housing Trust Fund recently provided a total of $1,625,000 in three loans for the new Walnut Street Apartment project in Moorpark: a 4-month pre-development loan of $500,000, a 2-year construction loan for $875,000, and a 17-year mini-perm loan for $250,000 (the VCHTF Board of Directors approved this special mini-perm loan to help the developer secure highly competitive CA tax credits). The project is being developed and managed in partnership by two local non-profits: Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura and Many Mansions.. When completed, the development will provide 24 apartments for low to extremely-low income families earning a mere 30-60% of the County’s median income.…roughly $19,600-$56,040 a year depending on the size of the household.
Located on a former redevelopment site, these apartments will provide much needed housing for very-low income families. This two- and three-story project features 24 units distributed as follows:
It also includes an on-site property manager, elevator, laundry facility, tot lot, community garden, and community room, all wrapped in a beautiful California cottage architectural style. Construction is estimated to be complete by late spring 2018 with 100% occupancy by the end of next summer.
VCHTF applauds the many groups and individuals coming together to support this project, including the other project lenders: City of Moorpark, the partners’ equity, County HOME funds, and Union Bank..
There is a desperate need for this type of low-income family housing. For instance, the comparable Charles Street Apartments located nearby has 20 units and a waitlist of 600 households! According to 2015 census,data over 64,000 households in Ventura County earn 50% or less of the area’s median income: for example a 2-person household earning below $37,400 or a family of four earning below 47,600. But there are currently only about 11,000 of these homes available in Ventura County. The vast majority of families pay far more than prudent for rent, leaving little left for food, transportation, health and other needs.
VC Housing Trust Fund's CEO, Linda Braunschweiger, recently spoke with Charter TV Local Edition host Bella Shaw.
Support for additional affordable housing is growing in Ventura County. People are recognizing the need for smart, well-planned and affordable housing to combat the high housing costs and tight availability in this region The viability and sustainability of the economy and life-style in this County is dependent on ensuring that the labor force can also afford to live here. With the clear desire to preserve agriculture and open space, people are recognizing the need to support new creative projects within City boundaries. Please be visible in your support of this effort in your local community!
Download article: Acorn Editorial 3-10-2017
Download article: Acorn Editorial 3-17-2017
In January 25, 2017 fifty-five guests joined with the VCHTF Board of Directors and staff to review VCHTF's 2016 year, discuss goals and plans for 2017 and beyond, and listen to Matthew Fienup, new executive director for CLU's Center for Economic Research and Forecasting.
Highlights from the meeting included:
Matthew Fienup, Exec.Dir. CLU CERF
"Ventura County's Economic Puzzle" by Matthew Fienup, CLU CERF
Use the link below to download Matthew Fienup's "Ventura County's Economic Puzzle" presentation slides (in pdf format)
VCHTF 2016 Year-in-Review
Future Plans and Goals
Use the links below to download the 2016 Annual Report and Summary of VCHTF Loans distributed at the meeting.
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
The 2017 Board of Directors thanks you for your continued support. For more information about the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund and how you can support the creation of more affordable housing, please contact the office or go to the "Support Us" page of this website.
CEO email: Linda@VCHousingTrustFund.org
shown above: Board Advisor Mary Ann Krause, Chair Emeritus and "Founding Mother" Dawn Dyer, 2017 Board Chair Steve Boggs, 2016 Board Chair Marni Brook, 2017 Vice-Chair Sean Morreale