Linda Braunschweiger, CEO
PROPOSITIONS 1 & 2 APPROVED BY CALIFORNIA VOTERS!
What a difference a night can make for VCHTF! With the passage of both Props. 1 and 2 voters have recognized the need for more affordable housing, stable places to live, and opportunities for all. "Communities experience greater stability, inclusivity and prosperity with better health, education and employment outcomes when we invest in affordable and supportive homes,” said Lisa Hershey, Executive Director of Housing California and co-chair of the coalition to pass Props 1 and 2.
Now VCHTF has the opportunity to apply for up to $10M in matching funds in $5M increments for Ventura County. VCHTF will have to raise $10M in the next couple of years to receive the $10M match. I am confident with all your help we can accomplish this task.
Prop 1 will dedicate funding to build and preserve housing, including supportive housing, and provide homeowner assistance through a variety of proven and effective programs, including:
The state is expected to issue its first notices of funding availability in spring 2019. In recent months HCD has indicated that the LHTF Matching Grant Program will likely begin funding in 2020.
"Prop 2 is equally important, providing supportive homes for our fellow Californians living with a mental illness struggling to survive on the streets or in shelters without the stability and access to services they need. With $2 billion, Prop 2 will build an additional 20,000 supportive rental homes that provide mental health services to help end homelessness for thousands of people. Homelessness advocates, doctors, mental health professionals, emergency responders, and law enforcement all agree – supportive housing works and we need it if we are to end chronic homelessness in California." said Lisa Hershey, Executive Director of Housing California
Congratulations! Now the work begins.
HAPPY NEW YEAR - JANUARY 2018
It’s 2018 already and the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund (VCHTF) has been busy. In a few short years we’ve built up our Revolving Loan Fund to over $4 million, and have achieved our State matched-grant goal. Our Revolving Loan Fund has funded loans helping to create 141 new affordable housing units, This past year saw the opening of the Camino Esperanza project in Simi Valley by Cabrillo EDC, providing 30 homes for seniors and seniors with disabilities. Two additional projects are under construction with partial funding from VCHTF: The 24-unit Walnut Street Apartments in Moorpark for low-income families, a collaboration between Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura and Many Mansions, and 6 single-family, for-sale homes in Oxnard through Habitat for Humanity. With a growing revolving loan fund, we welcome new project applications for funding.
I want to sincerely thank all who, through your generosity, have helped VCHTF accomplish our mission, which is to generate more affordable housing. It has taken years of planning and hard work to get to this point, but working with our State, County, city, corporate and charitable partners VCHTF has been able to assist those that are providing homes for our County’s neediest residents.
The Board of Directors, staff and I continue to look for ways to impact the community even more. With a larger loan pool, we can begin to offer longer-term and larger loans. To grow the fund on a more consistent basis, we are exploring options to establish a dedicated source of funding. We are looking for partners that can provide us very-low interest, CRA-type loan; thank you to Pacific Western Bank for entrusting VCHTF with a $500,000 5-year loan in 2017. We have also recently submitted our application at the Federal level to be certified as a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institute) opening up new sources of funding. We renewed our CDFI designation under the COIN program at the State level.
With a larger loan pool, the Board is working on ways to encourage for-profit developers of affordable housing to utilize VCHTF’s products. We are also exploring a land-trust model to lower the cost of affordable developments; High land costs are an obstacle to developing and securing affordable housing for lower-income families. One way to address this issue is to remove the cost of the land (by placing it in a land trust) from the purchase of a house or costs with a multi-family project. Finally, we are researching how VCHTF loan products can help prevent affordable units with expiring agreements from transitioning to market-rate.
I am honored and grateful to be a part of this remarkable work and hope to have the pleasure of meeting many new supporters of affordable housing in the coming year. Finally, please feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions for VCHTF.