Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced on Thursday four local programs received funding totaling almost $2 million through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund.
The San Luis Obispo Housing Trust Fund, the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County and Women’s Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara each received $600,000 awards. The awards will allow increased lending and investments in low-income and economically distressed communities.
The Peoples Opportunity Fund in San Luis Obispo received a $96,000 technical assistance award, which helps certified CDFIs build their capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low-income communities and families.
In 2011, CDFI program awardees around the country provided nearly $1.3 billion in financing to homeowners, businesses and commercial and residential real estate developments. Awardees also created or maintained more than 25,600 jobs and provided 23,100 individuals with financial literacy training.
“Our local CDFIs help create jobs, generate economic growth and expand housing in our neighborhoods,” Capps said. “Providing low-cost, affordable housing options in our communities is critical to building and strengthening our working and middle classes. These awards will help community partners throughout the Central Coast expand the amount of affordable housing in our cities.”
At the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, the CDFI Fund award will be used as lending capital to community sponsors of affordable rental and homeownership housing projects that will serve low-income working families and our most vulnerable special needs populations. The Housing Trust Fund provides low-cost loans for site acquisition, predevelopment and construction costs and permanent bridge-financing that help facilitate expansion of needed affordable and workforce housing opportunities throughout our diverse Santa Barbara counties.
"Santa Barbara County is the fifth least affordable small metropolitan housing market in the nation,” said Jennifer McGovern, president and CEO of the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County. “This grant award provides the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County with crucial financial resources that help expand affordable and workforce housing opportunities for working families and our most vulnerable populations throughout Santa Barbara County. We deeply appreciate Congresswoman Capps' leadership and consistent support of our agency mission and are grateful for her championing of our application for this key community funding."
Capps has long supported the program and the impact these organizations have on the local community. She wrote a letter in support of CDFI funding for the coming fiscal year. She also sent similar letters in support of CDFI funding in the previous two fiscal years. The awards were part of more than $172 million in grants from the Department of Treasury to only 191 organizations around the country.
— Chris Meagher is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.