Ventura, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) has announced a slate of five new Directors for election to its 2021 Board at the organization’s Annual Meeting being held on Wednesday, January 27th, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm via Zoom. The new slate will fill the seats of five longstanding outgoing Directors, many of whom have served for years.
The incoming Directors represent community members who bring a wide range of diversified knowledge and experience to Housing Trust Fund VC, especially as it relates to affordable workforce housing, socio-diversity, and inclusion.
“My heartfelt appreciation goes to our outgoing members. We’ll miss their dedicated leadership on our Board and know their commitment to affordable housing in our community remains,” commented Jennie Buckingham, Housing Trust Fund VC 2019-2020 Board Chair. Departing the current Housing Trust Fund VC Board of Directors are, Stephen Boggs, John Fowler, David Moe, Sean Morreale, and Donna Sepulveda-Weber.
Housing Trust Fund VC will host their Where We Live Shapes How We Live Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 27th from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm. The virtual event is free and open to the public and will address the growing challenges of housing insecurity in Ventura County and how Housing Trust Fund VC, through its revolving loan fund, is working with developers to build safe and equitable multifamily housing that creates richly diverse neighborhoods and positively impacts the trajectory of people’s lives while advancing the community’s collective prosperity. Keynote speaker Michael Anderson, Director of the Housing Trust Fund Project for Community Change, will be presenting, “Impacting Equity with Local Housing Trust Funds.” Pre-registration for this free event is required: https://bit.ly/2XjjMug.
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announced this week that it applied for California Proposition 1 matching funds from the CA Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the agency responsible for fund disbursement. Housing Trust Fund VC has raised $5 million locally with the goal of bringing $10 million to the county for affordable housing developments through the Prop 1 matching grant program.
The Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond, also known as California’s Proposition 1, is a 1:1 fund matching grant program that provides funding to Housing Trust Funds for the development of rental housing with a focus on low to extremely low-income housing units. It provides up to $5 million per year for five years totaling $25 million, with the potential of doubling to $50 million through local matching funds.
“Locally, our job was to raise $5 million so we could fully leverage Prop 1 during its inaugural year,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “We did just that. Thanks to wonderful supporters and wise Board leadership we now expect to have $10 million available from the first funding round for increased affordable housing development in Ventura County, which is needed now more than ever.” Braunschweiger refers to the current COVID-19 environment and the resulting high unemployment rate, which has a trickle-down effect of housing becoming increasingly unaffordable for too many. Currently, the nonprofit has a pipeline of projects throughout the county for which developers are requesting $15 million over the next two years. As a short-term lender, Housing Trust Fund VC plans to utilize Prop 1 grant funds for acquisition and construction lending of affordable workforce housing.
Housing Trust Fund VC successfully raised this round’s $5 million local match through support of sponsors, donors, grants, loan repayments and fundraising events. Most recently Wells Fargo Bank donated $30,000, the County of Ventura confirmed a $300,000 three-year grant, and support continues from all 10 cities. Over $1 million comes from PLHA (Permanent Local Housing Allocation) where $75 of every local real estate transaction goes towards increasing the supply of affordable housing in Ventura County. Other major funding includes the US Department of Treasury CDFI program, HOPE Foundation, McCune Foundation, Lluella Morey Murphy Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Brokaw Nursery, Leavens Ranches, Lloyd-Butler Ranch, City National Bank, Mechanics Bank, Pacific Western Bank, Union Bank, Legado Family Companies, and Sage Publishing. Housing Trust Fund VC raised another $145,000 through two fundraising events, including its unique, completely virtual, weeklong, “Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign”(www.housingtrustfundvc.org/compassion-campaign).
“I’m so pleased that our community sees the value in supporting affordable housing,” commented Housing Trust Fund VC Board Chair Jennie Buckingham. “This $10 million will go a long way to creating more workforce housing throughout all of the cities in our County.” Housing Trust Fund VC is looking at 2021 and beyond to ensure that the $5 million Prop 1 funds are matched 100% every year through 2024. To support affordable workforce housing in Ventura County go to, www.housingtrustfundvc.org/donate-now.
Developers interested in receiving a loan may visit www.housingtrustfundvc.org/funding-programs and review the Program and Loan Underwriting Guidelines. A list of projects that have received first phase approval are also available on the website at www.housingtrustfundvc.org/housing.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County states Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign A wonderful success in support of affordable workforce housing
Ventura County, CA – During the week of June 1st, Housing Trust Fund Ventura County hosted its first ever virtual event, Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign. The weeklong celebration shone a light on the increasing need for affordable housing in Ventura County while reminding our community that small acts of compassion and kindness matter.
The nonprofit was able to secure $43,850 in donations and sponsorships in support of the cause. “We are so close to achieving our $50,000 goal,” commented Linda Braunschweiger, CEO, Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “I encourage our community to help us get there. These are difficult times for so many. Any size gift truly makes a difference to help build affordable workforce housing in Ventura County.”
Housing Trust Fund VC invited the community to get involved with their Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign through participation in #CompassionInAction tips, viewing stellar entertainment, hearing compelling stories, sharing recipes, and more. A particularly exciting element of the event were nightly Livingroom Lounge performances. Singers including Grammy award winning artist Rick Springfield, NBC’s The Voice Top 8 contestant Will Breman, and Orange is the New Black actress Jolene Purdy were among the line-up. Joining them throughout the week were local duo, Soul 4 II (part of the Sound Effect Band), Afro-Cuban sensation Ricardo Lemvo, country musician Kenzie Mae, and 11-year-old up and coming singer songwriter Aiden Baffa.
As the week came to a close, board member Marni Brook summed it up beautifully, “Please remember there are veterans, farmworkers, young adults transitioning from foster care, people with disabilities, low income seniors and families in need of housing. In fact, people who don't usually need our help, are now uncertain if they will be able to keep a roof over their heads. We hope you believe, as we do, that in the end, everyone deserves a home.” Housing Trust Fund Ventura County is continuing to accept donations in an effort to hit its $50,000 campaign goal. Gifts of any size can be made at www.housingtrustfundvc.org/compassion-campaign.
The Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign was made possible in part by, Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, City National Bank, Wells Fargo, Montecito Bank & Trust, Boston Private Bank, and Pacific Western Bank.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announces Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign Grammy award winning artist Rick Springfield lends his voice to the cause
Ventura County, CA – For too many, housing is not guaranteed. At a time when acts of kindness matter, Housing Trust Fund Ventura County invites you to join its Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign. This weeklong celebration takes place June 1st through June 5th highlighting how we can make a difference in people's lives, from small acts of compassion, to being part of the affordable workforce housing solution in Ventura County.
“We’re particularly excited about our Living Room Lounge,” said Housing Trust Fund Ventura County CEO Linda Braunschweiger. “Every night at exactly 7:00 pm we will host an intimate one-song performance by outstanding singers, including Grammy award winning artist Rick Springfield.” Other artists singing exclusively for Housing Trust Fund VC include singer and actress Jolene Purdy, best known for her roles in Orange is the New Black, Under the Dome, Breaking Bad, and Glee; and Will Breman, Santa Barbara based singer-songwriter and Top 8 contestant on NBC’s The Voice. Joining this star-studded line-up will be local duo, Soul 4 II (part of the Sound Effect Band), Afro-Cuban sensation Ricardo Lemvo, country musician Kenzie Mae known for her starring role in the award-winning feature film, “Chloe’s Mountain” and 11-year-old up and coming musician Aiden Baffa.
The Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign promises to be a fun and emotional week as Housing Trust Fund VC shines a light on the growing need for more affordable housing in Ventura County. A compelling Facebook Live interview will feature Cesar Hernandez as he tells his story of how his family was helped by affordable housing. Viewers will be taken on a tour of affordable housing developments in the community, hear from members of the affordable housing community, and be invited to share #CompassionInAction tips. The nonprofit is also hosting the interactive #Recipe4Home, where participants are asked to share a favorite family recipe to be entered into a giveaway in which one lucky winner will have their recipe beautifully preserved on a cutting board. Housing Trust Fund VC is asking the community to get involved by following them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HousingTrustFundVC/.
“When we realized we could not host our annual fundraiser and awareness event, we felt it was important to continue moving forward,” commented Board Chair Jennie Buckingham. “Especially now, the need is only growing for affordable housing solutions.” Learn more at www.housingtrustfundvc.org/compassion-campaign.
The Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign is made possible in part by, Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, Ventura Investment Co., City National Bank, Wells Fargo, Montecito Bank & Trust, Boston Private Bank, and Pacific Western Bank.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County awarded $50,000 from Weingart Foundation in support of affordable workforce housing
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) has been named as one of 29 grantees receiving funding support from Weingart Foundation through their Unrestricted Operating Support (U.O.S.) program. Housing Trust Fund VC will receive $50,000 over two years to help with capacity building in support of the Fund’s overall mission to increase affordable housing options throughout Ventura County by leveraging public-private partnerships to provide low-cost, flexible loans early in the housing development cycle.
The Weingart Foundation partners with communities across Southern California to advance racial, social and economic justice for all. To achieve this mission, the Foundation’s grantmaking program is designed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to meet essential needs, expand opportunity and eliminate structural barriers to equity by building the community power required to sustain long-term prosperity. Grant recipients, such as Housing Trust Fund VC align strongly with the Foundation’s core mission.
Weingart Foundation awarded $3.5 million in grants through this round of their U.O.S. program and over the next 12 months intends to award up to $20 million in unrestricted operating support grants to core partners.
“Receiving this funding from Weingart Foundation is such an honor,” stated Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “COVID-19 is likely going to displace more people who will be looking for more affordable housing amid employment concerns. Now more than ever affordable workforce housing options are needed in our community and we remain committed to our promise that, “everyone deserves a home.”
Hernandez joins the Board with a stellar social justice background. He is currently the Senior Field Organizer for Economic Justice at the Washington DC based Community Change, dedicated to building the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that impact their lives. Hernandez is also actively involved within the local community serving on the McCune Foundation’s Social Change Institute’s Advisory Committee and is a co-founder of City Corps of Oxnard, a youth leadership and service-learning program that provides job training and life skills for low income and young people of color. He has also led youth development and health education efforts at El Concilio del Condado de Ventura, was the Director of the Central Coast Environmental Health Project (CCEHP) for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and a founding member of the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
“Cesar is an impressive individual,” said Housing Trust Fund VC Board Chair Jennie Buckingham. “Between his private sector work as Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Reiter Affiliated, the largest fresh berry grower in the world, to his many community endeavors advocating for low-income people, Cesar brings a valuable perspective to our Board.” Leading labor strategy efforts to improve earning, working, and living conditions for over 20,000 harvesters in the U.S, Hernandez led the company’s philanthropic giving and supply chain responsibility efforts in both the U.S. and Mexico. His work earned him the position of Fellow with the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Cesar Hernandez immigrated with his family to the United States in the late 1970’s and was raised in Oxnard. “As a kid growing up in Colonia Village, a public housing project built and managed by the City of Oxnard, my community was always a source of inspiration,” commented Hernandez. “My success is directly linked to the stability that affordable housing provided to my parents. I remember feeling lucky to have my own bedroom, where I could study and dream about what I could become and where I wanted to go in the world. It is my hope that we can all work together to help more families thrive and it starts with a safe place to call home.”
Airing on KNX radio (1070 FM) is a live interview with Housing Trust Fund CEO Linda Braunschweiger about the recent formation of the Housing Land Trust Ventura County. Listen to an introductory snippet here.
On October 14 the Ventura County STAR ran an article about the new Land Trust.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County is launching Housing Land Trust Ventura County. The land trust will operate as a supporting nonprofit, but is a separate entity.
“The goal is to preserve land for affordable housing development, as this county has fewer and fewer pieces of property available for development,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County, which is launching a community land trust as a separate nonprofit. “By taking the land cost out, it reduces the cost of the development. And hopefully that should transfer over to the folks who are renting or purchasing.”
Community land trusts are nonprofit organizations that aim to provide affordable housing in perpetuity by owning land on which single-family or multi-family homes are built. Home and apartment owners own the building, and receive a long-term land lease agreement, typically for 99 years. Separating the cost of land from the cost of housing drives down rent and home prices, making both more affordable.
“The focus of Housing Land Trust Ventura County is going to be extremely low-income all the way up to moderate-income housing, which is tied to the mission of the trust fund, which is providing affordable housing. Our focus is to support efforts to build more affordable housing, through both multi- and single-family homes,” Braunschweiger said.
Braunschweiger says Housing Land Trust Ventura County is expected to be operating as a separate nonprofit by the end of the year. The land trust is already accepting land donations through Housing Trust Fund.
Click here for the full VC STAR article.
HOUSING TRUST FUND VENTURA COUNTY ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR THREE NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS IN VENTURA AND FILLMORE
Recently, HTF Ventura County was notified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that it is one of 73 recipients of a Technical Assistance grant. The $125,000 grant doubles to $250,000 due to State Proposition 1’s fund matching program. “Earlier this year we set a lofty $5 million fundraising goal by the end of 2019,” stated Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “With this newest grant we are now within striking distance of achieving that goal.” In 2017, HTF Ventura County became a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which certifies private and non-profit financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income and other disadvantaged people join the economic mainstream. Being a CDFI opens new funding opportunities for HTF Ventura County, allowing for program expansion to help better serve Ventura County residents in need of affordable housing. Below are three such projects.
Ventura’s Willett Ranch, located at 54 and 55 Willett Street, is part of the new Solana Heights residential community. It will include the new construction of 50 one- and two-bedroom apartments for extremely low income seniors, with 15 apartments designated for permanent supportive housing for homeless households. The community will include on-site supportive services such as community gardening and meals, as well as targeted workshops and classes attractive to seniors. HTF Ventura County provided a $1.4 million acquisition and predevelopment loan to the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura to make this project a reality. It is estimated that 75-80 seniors will become residents of Willett Ranch. Construction is set to begin in November 2019.
Ventura’s El Portal Building, located at 1238-1288 North Ventura Avenue, is a two-story building constructed in 1929. After falling into disrepair, Triad Properties, a nonprofit corporation associated with the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura purchased the mixed-use property with plans to reconfigure 33 current living spaces, storage and commercial space into 28 to 30 more suitable apartments for homeless individuals, those with special needs, and very low income adults. HTF Ventura County provided a $700,000 construction loan to kick-off the project. It is estimated that 28-38 individuals will become residents of El Portal, which is set to begin reconstruction after all health and safety standards are brought up to code.