Housing Trust Fund Ventura County hosts its Annual Meeting on January 18, 2023
Nonprofit welcomes two recognized experts on affordable housing
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County invites anyone interested in learning about affordable housing impacts and solutions to its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register free at www.housingtrustfundvc.org/2023annualmeeting. Recognizing, “Lives Connected Through One Common Need,” the nonprofit is hosting two recognized experts on affordability of homes in California – Richard Green, Ph.D. Director and Lusk Chair in Real Estate at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and Alan Greenlee, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing.
Dr. Green will be showcasing the “2022 Multifamily Real Estate Forecast,” and Mr. Greenlee will be discussing the newly passed “Homelessness and Housing Solutions Tax” on transfers of residential and commercial real property valued in excess of $5 million within the city of Los Angeles.
Richard Green, Ph.D., is Professor in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Marshall School of Business. He has served as Senior Advisor for Housing Finance at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. Dr. Green has also been a principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his A.B. in economics from Harvard University. Dr. Green’s research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review and Journal of Housing Economics. His book with Stephen Malpezzi, “A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy,” is used at universities throughout the country, and he recently published a book, “Introduction to Mortgages and Mortgage Backed Securities.” His work has been cited in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Economist, among other outlets. Dr. Green has testified before the US Senate and House Committees, as well as California Assembly Committees, and consults for the World Bank.
Alan Greenlee is the Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH). Over his 25-year professional career, Greenlee has demonstrated a commitment to helping low-income families join the economic mainstream by supporting beneficial public policy at the local, regional, state, and federal levels. Greenlee has designed, implemented, and managed programs operating from coast to coast, impacting hundreds of thousands of low-income and underserved families. As an entrepreneur, he developed market-making products and services for the solar industry. Drawing from the full range of his experience allows Greenlee to innovate in the fight against poverty tempered by the practicalities of the real world. The combination yields efficient, effective, and scalable solutions.
"The topic of housing affordability continues to dominate the real estate landscape in California,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “We are honored that Dr. Green and Mr. Greenlee will be sharing their years of experience, teachings, and research during our annual meeting.”
Braunschweiger honored with the Rodney Fernandez Founder's Award for Excellence in Visionary Leadership
In October the Ventura County Community Development Corporation held a very special celebration to honor four important leaders who inspire VCCDC's work and four award winners who are making significant contributions in our community.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County's CEO Linda Braunschweiger received the Rodney Fernandez Founder's Award for Excellence in Visionary Leadership. The award honors Rodney Fernandez who championed the cause for affordable workforce housing in Ventura County for over 50 years and founded VCCDC in 2001. Braunschweiger is noted for her deep understanding of affordable housing and community development coming from her successful career that includes having served as the Community Investment Officer with Affinity Bank, first Executive Director of the CA Housing Consortium, and the Director of Legislative Affairs with CA Housing Finance Agency. As noted on VCCDC's website, "In her role at Housing Trust Fund, Linda parlays the benefits of a nonprofit with the spirit of entrepreneurship to leverage public, private, and charitable funding in order to provide loans to developers building affordable housing." Read her full recognition here.
Alongside Linda that evening were three other award winners, John Gamboa, Chair of California Community Builders taking home the Lynn L. Jacobs Award for Excellence in Lifetime Achievement; Oxnard Police Department Commander Luis McArthur taking home the Ernest Baskette, Jr. Award for Excellence in Community Support; and Michael McGuire Excellence in Community Partnership award winners County of Ventura, Executive Office, Community Development Division.
Grant presented at the Bank's annual Community Dividends lunch
Each year, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, Montecito Bank & Trust celebrates local nonprofits in a longstanding tradition known as their Community Dividends® luncheon. Housing Trust Fund Ventura County's Linda Braunschweiger was one of hundreds of nonprofit leaders who gathered to be recognized for the meaningful work each does every day in our community.
Thank you Montecito Bank & Trust for its very generous investment into affordable housing through the $15,000 donation received this year by Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. It will be leveraged to support affordable housing development for veterans, homeless individuals and families, farm workers, low- and very-low income individuals and families, young adults transitioning from foster care and cognitively impaired individuals.
The Community Dividends® tradition began twenty years ago when the Bank's late founder, Michael Towbes, invited 100 nonprofits to lunch and surprised each of them with a $10,000 check. The tradition carries on, giving away $1 million every November to hundreds of nonprofits across the Central Coast. This year, in honor of its 20th event year, the Bank gave away $2 million dollars.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura receives $518,000 in support of affordable housing; to fund over $4M for Rancho Sierra Senior Apartments near Camarillo
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County is committed to funding the development of safe and equitable homes that make a positive impact in the trajectory of people’s lives. In support of that effort, the nonprofit recently received $18,000 from a combined two operating grants from Citizens Business Bank and the Bank of Sierra and a $500,000 investment from US Bank into its Everyone Deserves a Home Community Impact Note. Funding such as this is pooled with other supportive funding sources to ensure developments like the Rancho Sierra Senior Apartments (Rancho Sierra) are built to foster positive change for individuals and families who face housing insecurity.
Housing Trust Fund VC is providing just over $4.4 million in a pre-development construction loan for the development of Rancho Sierra located on unincorporated land near Camarillo. The 49 senior apartments, 24 of which are set aside for homeless individuals or those at risk of becoming homeless, will be built by Many Mansions with support services overseen by the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura. Rancho Sierra Senior Apartments is the first affordable development in Ventura County utilizing prefabricated units. With the units factory-built off-site and delivered ready to stand, construction costs are reduced, leading to overall project cost savings as well as a shortened construction period
“A portion of the funding for Rancho Sierra was matched by Prop 1’s local fund matching program,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “We continue to work diligently at Housing Trust Fund VC to receive the highest possible match each year from Prop 1 to bring more affordable homes to our community.” Housing Trust Fund VC has received $9,019,387 to date from the state’s Local Housing Trust Fund (LHTF) program which began in 2020.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announces land donation by the City of Thousand Oaks for development of affordable, for-sale housing
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announces a 3.87 acre land donation by the City of Thousand Oaks to its supporting non-profit, the Housing Land Trust Ventura County. Approved at the City’s November 1, 2022 City Council meeting, the donated land located at 384 N. Erbes Road will be developed by People’s Self-Help Housing into nearly 80 affordable for-sale townhomes. People’s Self-Help Housing, as the lead agency, is working with collaborative partners Housing Trust Fund Ventura County/Housing Land Trust Ventura County, Ventura County Community Development Corp, McCarthy Companies, and DiCecco Architecture to bring this development to fruition.
Homeownership is widely out of reach for many residents in Ventura County. The Hillcrest Homes development will open up home ownership for the community’s low-income to moderate-income individuals and families. “There is absolutely no doubt that the City of Thousand Oaks is taking a historic step. It is a step that takes courage. It is a step that will help improve our community,” commented Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña during the City Council meeting. In 2021, the City of Thousand Oaks acquired the Hillcrest site from Hillcrest Christian School and in early 2022 the City Council adopted a resolution declaring the site as exempt surplus land pursuant to the Surplus Lands Act.
The ability to build affordable housing often comes down to the high cost of land. A critical element of success for the Hillcrest Homes development is the donation of the land by the City of Thousand Oaks and the mechanism established by Housing Trust Fund VC to receive the land through its new supporting nonprofit, Housing Land Trust Ventura County. Hillcrest Homes is the second parcel donated to Housing Land Trust VC since its formation in 2021. In April 2021, the City of Oxnard donated a 22,000 sq parcel located at 241 W. 2nd Street for the development of The Oxnard Navigation Center, which will provide 110 shelter beds and 24-hour supportive services for our community's homeless population. In addition, the development will provide 55 permanent housing units, recently renamed Casa de Carmen in honor of the late Carmen Ramirez.
“We value our long-term partnership with the City of Thousand Oaks. As an early investor into the Trust Fund, the City’s funds have been leveraged and cycled through our revolving loan fund many times over to produce affordable housing throughout Ventura County,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund VC and Housing Land Trust VC. “With this latest land donation, the Housing Trust Fund / Housing Land Trust will be able to leverage millions of dollars in diverse funding from the state as well as the federal government to produce more affordable housing. These resources will also be used to help fund this project.”
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County to receive $5 million from Prop 1 Local Housing Trust Fund program
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County has been notified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that it has been awarded $5,000,000 from the Local Housing Trust Fund (LHTF) program. This is a result of the nonprofit’s ability to raise $5M in local funding to receive this 100% match from the California State Prop 1 matching grant program. This brings the total funding for Housing Trust Fund VC in this program round to $10M, which through the development of safe and affordable housing will positively impact the lives of farmworkers, veterans, low-income seniors, cognitively impaired individuals, houseless persons, transitional age foster youth, and extremely-low and low-income individuals and families.
The Housing Programs and Veterans’ Loans Bond, also known as California’s Proposition 1, includes the 1:1 fund matching Local Housing Trust Fund (LHTF) program, providing funding to Housing Trust Funds for the development of rental housing with a focus on low to extremely low-income housing units. This program affords the opportunity for applicant agencies to apply for up to $5 million per year for five years totaling a potential of $25 million. Housing Trust Fund VC has now received $9,019,387 from this program which began in 2020.
“We have been laser focused this last program year to raise $5 million locally so that we could fully leverage the Prop 1 match and we’ve done it!” commented Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “We have experts in housing on our Board and their leadership guided us towards this vital achievement that will result in more affordable apartments and homes in Ventura County, many of which are already in our development pipeline.” Currently, Housing Trust Fund VC has a pipeline of first-phase approved projects throughout the County with an estimated loan amount just over $32 million and will result in 656 affordable rental units.
Included in the $5 million raised locally, is the $840,000 valued land donated by the City of Oxnard for the development of a new Homeless Solutions Center. This is a first ever achievement in Ventura County where the value of donated land is included by HCD for the purposes of calculating the State match. In addition to this land donation, Housing Trust Fund VC successfully raised this round’s $5 million local match through support of sponsors, donors, grants, loan repayments and its record-setting Compassion Campaign fundraising event. The nonprofit’s successful investment vehicle – Everyone Deserves a Home Community Impact Note, has also attracted investors from both the public and private sector.
“The need for affordable housing continues to grow in our community,” commented Housing Trust Fund VC Board Chair Alex Russell. “This $5 million LHTF award paired with the $5 million local match will go a long way towards building new, safe, quality homes that are affordable to our most underserved populations.” Housing Trust Fund VC is looking at 2023 and beyond to ensure that the $5 million Prop 1 funds are matched 100% every year through the program’s sunset in 2024. To support our community of essential farmworkers, veterans, low-income seniors and more with affordable 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 announces $2.5 million predevelopment loan for farmworker apartments in Somis
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) announces a $2,500,000 predevelopment loan approved for funding to AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. (AMCAL) for the Terra Campagna Apartments set to begin construction in November.
The need for affordable housing is felt throughout Ventura County, especially among our most essential workers. The Terra Campagna Apartments will serve the county’s large community of farmworkers and their families with 160 affordable housing units in Somis. This represents the second phase of the Somis Ranch Farmworkers Community development. Phase one consists of 200 units and is currently under construction with an anticipated completion date in the spring of 2024. Both developments will include community centers, social services, outdoor community spaces and play areas for all ages.
The Terra Campagna Apartments will provide high-quality affordable housing utilizing state-of-the-art design, providing modern amenities and on-site services to farmworker households with incomes at 30, 50, and 60 percent of AMI (Area Median Income). The site will include social gathering spaces designed to foster community including a resident garden and computer room. Tenants will coordinate with an on-site Social Service provider to determine programs which best serve the community. With a mind toward sustainability, the development will include energy efficient construction, solar PV generation, sustainable irrigation, and a non-smoking policy. “These apartments will not only provide affordable housing to one of our County’s hardest-working communities, it will also provide important resources families need to build their future,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO of Housing Trust Fund VC and Housing Land Trust VC. “Affordable housing is about more than building structures, it’s about creating a strong and stable foundation for our residents, which in turn helps our community to thrive as a more inclusive environment in which we all work, raise our children, and live.”
This development is funded in part by Housing Trust Fund VC’s Everyone Deserves a Home Revolving Loan Fund, which provides below-market interest rate loans for the development of affordable housing in Ventura County. This spring, Housing Trust Fund VC received a Community Impact Note (at below market interest rate) from CBC Federal Credit Union for $250,000. This Note is combined with funds from other public and private investors and donors to provide lending capital in support of Housing Trust Fund VC’s promise of building safe and equitable homes in Ventura County.
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) recently celebrated its 3rd Annual Compassion Campaign at beautiful Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo. Over 175 attendees gathered for a deeply moving interactive experience. Guests were immersed in an unforgettable evening highlighting the interconnectedness of people’s lives and how we are all impacted by the need for more affordable housing. Housing Trust Fund VC achieved a fundraising record high through generous donors, sponsors, and investors, once again highlighting that as a collective community we can work towards achieving housing equity for all in Ventura County.
Attendees received a special message from California Department of Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez on the importance of housing policies and agendas, and how when we all work together progress can be made to tackle the affordable housing crisis in California.
“What an emotional and moving evening. It was amazing to see so many faces in support of providing funding solutions for affordable homes,” stated Housing Trust Fund Ventura County CEO Linda Braunschweiger, “A special thank you to City National Bank and all of our amazing sponsors. Together we will make a difference.” Compassion Campaign 2022 sponsors included City National Bank, CIT Bank, CBC Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, City of Buenaventura, McCarthy Construction, Montecito Bank and Trust, USA-HOPE, Ventura Ranch Partners, Williams Homes and more.
An evening highlight was hearing how affordable housing has positively impacted Daisy, a current resident of one of Housing Trust Fund VC’s funded developments. Daisy shared that after fighting addiction and homelessness, she finally has a place to call home, which changed the trajectory of her life in every way. With the audience in tears, Daisy concluded that more people like her can be helped when our community gathers at events like this to truly understand how affordable homes can lift people and families up.
To join our community in support of funding more affordable housing across Ventuera County, please visit: www.housingtrustfundvc.org/donate-now
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announces California Department of Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez to speak at immersive event on May 12th
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) announced today that Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Gustavo Velasquez will keynote the nonprofit’s signature event – Compassion Campaign 2022 on Thursday, May 12th at Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo.
“We are honored that Director Velasquez sees the work we are doing here in Ventura County to provide safe, equitable homes for all and will be sharing his perspective on the state of affordable housing in California,” said Linda Braunschweiger, CEO, Housing Trust Fund Ventura County. “This year’s Compassion Campaign will be an unforgettable immersion experience, highlighting that our lives are connected through one common need – housing.” Similar to immersive experiences offered by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, guests will take a deeply moving journey as they experience housing challenges faced through the eyes of members of the local community, from farmworkers to bankers, students to teachers, baristas to veterans. Tickets for Housing Trust Fund Ventura County’s Compassion Campaign may be purchased at www.HousingTrustFundVC.org.
“I’m excited to be back in Ventura County and be a part of the 2022 Compassion Campaign event,” HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez said. “As we all know, housing is the foundation for everything else one needs to live a decent life, and this administration has made it a top priority to create the affordable housing our state so desperately needs. From the recent release of our new Statewide Housing Plan to big developments in many of the programs HCD administers, we have a lot to talk about, and I look forward to an insightful discussion.”
In May of 2020, Gustavo Velasquez was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to be the next Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. In this leadership role, Velasquez leads California’s housing policy agenda and administers a wide range of programs that produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing and communities of opportunity across the state. Velasquez was a senior director at the Urban Institute, a renowned national research organization working to provide data analysis and insights to policymakers and practitioners. Velasquez served for nearly three years as assistant secretary for fair housing and equal opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and served on behalf of president as the strategic lead of the fair housing and inclusive community agenda for the Obama administration. During his tenure, HUD achieved groundbreaking enforcement victories in fair lending and in major housing discrimination cases. Velasquez led efforts to promulgate the landmark Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, a key tool for cities, states, and other HUD funding recipients to reduce inequality and disparities in access to opportunity.
Housing Trust Fund Ventura County announces $2 million in lines of credit received from Community West Bank and Mission Bank and $250,000 below market interest rate loan from CBC Federal Credit Union
Three loans to be funded, Fillmore Terrace in Fillmore, Mesa Ojai in Ojai, Westview II in San Buenaventura
Ventura County, CA – Housing Trust Fund Ventura County (Housing Trust Fund VC) announces two, $1 million lines of credit (LOC), one each from Community West Bank and Mission Bank, along with a $250,000 below market interest rate loan from CBC Federal Credit Union. The funds will be used as part of Housing Trust Fund VC’s Everyone Deserves a Home revolving loan fund, a community impact note that provides flexible, below-market interest rate loans for the development of affordable housing in Ventura County. Three upcoming developments that will receive funding are a new pre-development loan for Fillmore Terrace being developed by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Corporation (PSHHC), a GAP loan for Mesa Ojai being purchased by Mesa, and a construction loan to the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) for Westview II.
The LOCs provided by Community West Bank and Mission Bank and the loan from CBC Federal Credit Union join a pool of funds from other public and private investors, sponsors, and donors to provide lending capital in support of Housing Trust Fund VC’s Community Promise of building safe and equitable homes in Ventura County. Brian Schwabecher, Chief Banking Officer of Community West Bank stated, “Community West Bank is proud to support Housing Trust Fund Ventura County with financing for their housing initiatives, and we’re also honored to help sponsor the Everyone Deserves a Home Compassion Campaign event on May 12.” The nonprofit’s annual fundraiser takes on a unique twist this year as a guest immersive experience shining light on housing equity as told through the lives of connected individuals. Please visit:
www.housingtrustfundvc.org/compassioncampaign2022 to learn more.
Mesa, in partnership with Ventura County and PSHHC, is funded in part by a Housing Trust Fund VC $2.5M GAP loan. The development will provide housing and a wellness center for 13 Transition Age Youth (TAY). The plans include light renovation of a four-bedroom house, and the addition of 10 single occupancy tiny homes, in addition to space for a community building, health and wellness, employment, and education programs. The allocated funds for this loan, as well as the construction loan for Westview II (which will provide 50 homes to low-income and homeless seniors), were pulled from a pool of investments from Bank of the Sierra, Mission Bank and Community West Bank, and were provided to the developers at below market interest rates and reduced fees to help the developments move to the next phase of development.
“We are excited to build on our Community Promise of funding affordable homes with the support of both Community West Bank’s and Mission Bank’s generous lines of credit, which allow us to continue funding impactful developments,” states Housing Trust Fund VC CEO Linda Braunschweiger, “The Fillmore Terrace, Mesa and Westview II developments are such noteworthy examples of providing safe and equitable homes for those who need it most, because everyone deserves a home.”