Housing Trust Fund Ventura County receives City of Oxnard land on behalf of newly formed Housing Land Trust Ventura County
241 West Second Street land to be the future home of the Homeless Solutions Center
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC), on behalf of the newly formed Housing Land Trust Ventura County, has entered into a disposition and development agreement to receive donated land valued at $840,000 from the City of Oxnard. Located at 241 West Second Street, the unused city land will be developed as the future home of the Homeless Solutions Center, a supportive housing development that will provide 55 permanent housing units, 120 shelter beds and 24-hour supportive services for the homeless population.
“In 2020 we formed the Housing Land Trust Ventura County as a way to provide lasting community assets and permanently affordable housing opportunities for families, workers and fixed-income residents in our County,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund VC and Housing Land Trust Ventura County. “By working to acquire donated land and preserve it for affordable housing developments we remove the most cost-prohibitive part of building affordable homes, which is the high cost of land.” Braunschweiger notes that Housing Land Trust Ventura County is designated by the State of California as a Supporting Nonprofit comprised of an 11-member Board of Directors who are working to identify and receive donated land in the region that can be developed to provide affordable housing on a 99-year lease for either rental housing or home ownership. The new nonprofit will not act as a developer but rather work with affordable housing developers selected through an RFP process. The land donated by the City of Oxnard is the first such project for the newly formed Housing Land Trust Ventura County.
“The land donated by Oxnard aligns with its 2018 five-year homeless strategy plan,” said City of Oxnard Housing Director Emilio Ramirez who is also a member of the Housing Trust Fund Ventura County Board of Directors. “The plan specifically calls for a permanent year-round homeless shelter putting housing first, which studies show can rapidly end homelessness by increasing housing stability.” The Homeless Solutions Center will be developed by Community Development Partners, LLC and on-site management will be provided by local nonprofit, Mercy House. The City of Oxnard will contribute an additional $1.5 million for the project build-out from allocated Measure O funds and the Housing Land Trust VC will work with the Housing Trust Fund VC to raise other funds needed to complete the project, which is set to start construction in the spring of 2022.
Funds will double to $704,000 due to State Proposition 1’s matching grant program
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) announced today that it is the recipient of two grants totaling a combined $352,000. These funds support the nonprofit’s continued work towards housing equity and rental market affordability within Ventura County. The grants will double to $704,000 thanks to California’s Proposition 1 with its 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.
The City of Santa Paula granted $250,000 to Housing Trust Fund VC demonstrating their leadership and foresight into the growing need for affordable rental housing in Santa Paula. This grant will create housing stability and positive change for low income individuals and families, the homeless, veterans, people with disabilities, and youth transitioning from foster care. Past supportive funding from the City of Santa Paula has resulted in three major successful developments, Citrus Grove Apartments, Oakwood Court Apartments and Citricos de Santa Paula, amounting to a total of 25 units of senior housing in Santa Paula.
The second grant received by Housing Trust Fund VC is for $102,000 and comes through the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) as part of its Farmworker Housing Fund. After many years of advocacy, the nonprofit is pleased to receive these funds which will be leveraged for the continued development of farm worker housing units in Ventura County. In the fall of last year, Housing Trust Fund VC funded an $850,000 predevelopment loan to People’s Self-Help Housing Corporation for the Cypress Place at Garden City development in Oxnard, providing 150 residential units some specifically for farm workers. This past February, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved the development of the Somis Ranch Farm Worker Housing complex, with a proposed 360 apartments for farm workers and their families.
Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund and recently recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in Business by the Pacific Coast Business Times, emphasizes the powerful impact safe and affordable homes has on farm workers and their families. “Our goal is to foster harmonious communities that cultivate diversity and economic empowerment,” commented Braunschweiger. “Farm workers contribute to the fabric of Ventura County, which adds to our economy’s prosperity. We owe it to these hard-working members of our community to create equitable home options in neighborhoods that provide safe routes to school, easy access to public transportation and healthcare, because where we live, shapes how we live.”
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County kicks off 2021 with Annual Board Meeting – “Where We Live Shapes How We Live”
Ventura, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) proudly welcomed over 85 participants to last week’s Annual Meeting. Held virtually, the meeting highlighted successes including, $10 million in approved loans since 2012 ($2.1 million in 2020), helping to produce 598 affordable homes in socio-diverse neighborhoods throughout Ventura County, and raising $5+ million in local funds for affordable housing. Housing Trust Fund VC emphasized the power of impact investing by leveraging $2.15 million in funded 2020 loans for three new Oxnard developments.
A highlight of the afternoon came from CEO, Linda Braunschweiger who announced a 2020 milestone of $15 million in early funding requests for planned affordable housing developments, with a need for acquisition and construction financing. “These developments include rental housing for the homeless, farm workers, veterans, youth transitioning from foster care, and the majority of the units are expected to help low to extremely low-income families and individuals,” said Braunschweiger. Continuing to provide safe and equitable homes built in richly diverse neighborhoods is made possible in part through the organization’s Revolving Loan Fund. Capital for the fund is raised through donations, grants and Community Impact Notes, which provide a modest financial return to mission-minded investors such as Ventura County corporations and foundations interested in helping to solve the affordable housing crisis.
Supporting the notion of community impact investing, keynote speaker Michael Anderson delivered a compelling presentation focused on the significant impact of trust funds, “We think about not just the number of apartments and homes, but all of the different families that have benefitted in them, and the generations that will benefit going forward.” Anderson provided a big picture idea of the expanse each investment makes, “The impact that you’re making is definite and part of this larger story of trust funds across the country, where this movement continues to grow, even in difficult economic times.”
Braunschweiger closed the meeting highlighting a new development, funded in part by Housing Trust Fund VC, Willet Ranch, in Ventura, with a special touch for senior citizens, “When complete this community will offer on-site supportive services such as a community garden and meals, as well as targeted classes attractive for seniors.”
To view Housing Trust Fund VC’s 2020 Annual Report, visit www.housingtrustfundvc.org. To learn more about the Everyone Deserves a Home Revolving Loan Fund Community Impact Note, visit www.housingtrustfundvc.org/cin.
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.”