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Home > Feature Articles > Food Processing for Sustainable, Local, Organic and Effective Food Distribution

Ventura County Agricultural Worker Housing by Cabrillo Economic Development Corp

Affordable housing is a basic human motivation. California struggles to make adequate housing available to all its residents and workers. Affordable housing is possible... and being created ever so slowly.

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Thanks to a $1.9 million loan in 2009 from Mercy Loan Fund to Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, approximately 290 residents will have quality, affordable housing at Valle Naranjal in Piru, California.

Valle Naranjal will provide 66 units of affordable rental housing to farm worker families at or below 45 percent of the area median income.

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation brings affordable housing to farm worker families in Ventura County. Valle Naranjal's mission is to finance stable, vibrant and healthy communities.

Mercy Loan Fund for Affordable Housing

Mercy Loan Fund provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities.

To date, Mercy Loan Fund has made 410 loans in 33 states totaling $169 million. Loans are made for both new development and preservation of housing for low-income people.

According to the Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance’s recent report, “Estimates of farm workers in Ventura County range between 19,000 and 36,000. There are currently fewer than 1,000 units dedicated to farm worker housing in Ventura County. Added to other available low-income housing in the area, the housing stock does not begin to close the gap between the need and the supply.

Farm workers live where and how they can, which in Ventura County often means overcrowding and living in dilapidated or unsuitable structures.

The Valle Naranjal development is a 66-unit farm worker family rental development with a large community center, several recreational play fields, two tot lots and a community garden. The project is located in the rural Santa Clara Valley of Ventura County and is home to many farm worker families living in less-than-desirable conditions.

The Valle Naranjal development will assist the County of Ventura to meet its very low-income housing requirements as mandated by the State.

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation is excited about its partnership with Mercy Loan Fund to develop the Valle Naranjal farm worker family rental project in Piru, California. “Working with Mercy Loan Fund, which is an experienced partner and supports and understands our commitment to the creation of affordable homes in Ventura County, will allow us to meet our loan deadline in a timely manner and continue to move this farm worker housing development forward, especially during these uncertain economic times,” said Nicole Norori, Project Manager.

Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation''s mission is to provide comprehensive housing services, through a community building approach, that facilitate self-sufficiency for individuals and families who are most lacking in opportunity in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and adjacent areas in Los Angeles county. CEDC is the leading non-profit affordable housing producer in Ventura County.

Since its humble beginnings in 1975, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation has built more than 1,000 units of affordable for-sale and multi-family rental housing, manages 693 affordable rental units, and has counseled more than 1,800 households preparing to purchase a home. In addition, CEDC has helped 425 families into homeownership through education, counseling, and lending services. For more information about CEDC, visit www.cabrilloedc.org.

Mercy Loan Fund

Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of the national affordable housing organization Mercy Housing, provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities. Since 1985, the organization has made 410 loans in 33 states totaling $169 million, resulting in 16,100 affordable homes for nearly 45,600 residents. These loans have leveraged more than $1.3 billion in total development funding.

Mercy Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Mercy Loan Fund was formed with the goal of supporting the mission of Mercy Housing by making loans for affordable housing developments when conventional financing is not possible or affordable.

Mercy Housing was founded in 1981 by the Sisters of Mercy of Omaha, Nebraska in response to the urgent need for quality, affordable housing. Today it is co-sponsored by 13 groups of Catholic sisters, is active in 41 states and has developed, preserved, financed and/or managed nearly 37,000 affordable homes for over 124,000 people across the country. The annual median income of Mercy Housing resident families is $19,034.

For information about Mercy Loan Fund, visit www.mercyloanfund.org.

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Through monetary awards and the allocation of tax credits, the CDFI Fund helps promote access to capital and local economic growth in urban and rural low-income communities across the nation. Through its various programs, the CDFI Fund enables locally based organizations to further goals such as:
  • economic development (job creation, business development, and commercial real estate development)
  • affordable housing (housing development and homeownership)
  • community development financial services (provision of basic banking services to underserved communities and financial literacy training.

The CDFI Fund accomplishes this through the following programs:

  • Bank Enterprise Award (BEA) Program;
  • Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) Program;
  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program;
  • Financial Education and Counseling (FEC) Program;
  • New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program; and its
  • Native Initiatives, includes the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Program
  • Certification -- Community Development Entity (CDE);
  • Certification -- Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

    For information, see the CDFI website: www.cdfifund.gov



    Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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    | ventura county | affordable housing | agriculture | low income housing |

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