Erin Rode, Ventura County Star
Published 1:50 a.m. PT Aug. 19, 2019 | Updated 2:12 a.m. PT Aug. 19, 2019
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County is now halfway to its $5 million year-end fundraising goal for affordable housing, thanks to $100,000 brought in during its “Your Business Depends on Housing” event May 30.
The nonprofit lends for short-term loans at below-market interest rates and works to increase affordable housing options in the region.
The money raised during the event will be equally matched with state funding through Proposition 1, the Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans bond, meaning a total boost of $200,000.
“Our goal is to hit $5 million by December 31st and then raise the additional $5 million in 2020,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “We were thrilled to raise $200,000 between donations and Prop 1’s matching fund at this event. Paired with previous donations and funding, we are now halfway to our 2019 goal.”
The eighth annual fundraising event was held at the Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo and focused on how unaffordable and insufficient housing for Ventura County employees can hurt businesses. The total amount raised at the event was announced July 31.
“We are reaching out to the business community to speak with corporations in Ventura County that are recognizing the impact of housing on their ability to attract and retain employees,” Braunschweiger said. Braunschweiger is optimistic about the organization’s ability to reach its $5 million goal, which would bring an additional $5 million in matching funds from the state.
The resulting $10 million in funding will be lent to developers to create affordable housing. Since 2013, the nonprofit has invested $4.7 million through its loan fund, creating 143 affordable apartments and homes.
“I am confident we are going to make it to $5 million,” Braunschweiger said. “I feel like people are recognizing now that we have got to do something to address this problem in Ventura County.”
Erin Rode covers housing and development issues for The Star. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-437-0236.