Monterey Bay Housing Trust established to help fund affordable housing projects in three counties

In an effort spearheaded by the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, a $10 million loan fund has been established for the development of affordable housing projects in the region

The Monterey Bay Housing Trust has been established as a $10 million loan fund for the development of affordable housing projects in the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz.  

The Trust is a collaborative effort of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and Housing Trust Silicon Valley. MBEP is committed to raising $2 million in donations (the first $500,000 of which is already committed) that will be matched with funds from Housing Trust Silicon Valley lending capital in a four-to-one ratio. As loans made to affordable housing developers are repaid from construction financing, Monterey Bay Housing Trust funds will be re-invested in other new projects in the three-county region, leveraging the $10 million fund many times over.

“We feel it is absolutely critical to bring resources into our region that could can improve the supply of available housing,” said Bud Colligan, Co-Chair of MBEP. “A thriving region is at the core of our mission and we know that having an affordable place to call home is an integral part of achieving that. With a growing population and new housing construction moving at a slow pace, we need innovative solutions.”

“Housing Trust Silicon Valley is pleased to work with MBEP to promote affordable housing in the Monterey Bay Region,” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust. “These communities have been underserved by CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions) and the current housing shortage has escalated the need for new models of lending. With our solid banking relationships and outstanding credit rating, the Housing Trust is in a perfect position to market to affordable housing developers and manage the loan program.”

Following a similar trend throughout the San Francisco Bay area, housing costs in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties have increased significantly and are still expensive when compared to other parts of California and the U.S. In the City of Monterey, the average price for a home this spring rose to $709,000 and in Santa Cruz, a closer commute to Silicon Valley, the county’s median home price rose to $805,500, an all-time high. A one-bedroom apartment rental can be close to $2,000 a month and an extremely low vacancy rate (about 1 percent) keeps rents on the rise. According to the most recent statistics posted by the California Association of Realtors, median price of a single family home in San Benito County was approximately $479,000 in April.

The Monterey Bay Housing Trust is a part of MBEP’s overall housing initiative, which also includes a broad housing advocacy coalition and a showcase of best practices for employer sponsored housing projects. Click here for details. For additional information on how MBEP’s housing initiative or to make a donation to the Monterey Bay Housing Trust, contact MBEP Program Manager, Jodi Nunes. For information on how to apply for financing for an affordable housing project, contact Housing Trust Silicon Valley’sTSV Chief Lending Officer, Jim Mather.

The Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) is a regional 501c(3) nonprofit, membership organization consisting of public, private and civic entities located throughout the counties of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz. MBEP’s mission is to create a thriving region with quality jobs, excellent education and health care, and a high quality of life for all residents while preserving the natural beauty and healthy lifestyle we all share. 

The Housing Trust was formed by community and corporate leaders in 2000 with the goal of making Silicon Valley a more affordable place to live. It makes loans and grants to increase the supply of affordable housing, assists first-time homebuyers, prevents homelessness and stabilizes neighborhoods.  Housing Trust Silicon Valley has invested over $100 million in affordable housing solutions to date and created more than 13,000 affordable housing opportunities. In 2015, Housing Trust Silicon Valley became the first nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution in the U.S. to earn a credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. It was awarded an AA- rating because of its strong capacity to meet financial commitments. 

Kristina Chavez Wyatt

With more than a decade of community engagement, business advocacy, public relations and government affairs experience, Kristina Chavez Wyatt specializes in building and favorably positioning projects, programs, products and organizations via building coalitions of support through grassroots community engagement. She currently focuses on developing and executing strategic communications programs, building relationships, economic development strategy, business advocacy and navigating processes of government. Kristina formed Farmhouse Communications in 2011 following serving as a senior account executive for prominent national public affairs firm Meridian Pacific, Inc. and a central coast public relations firm Armanasco Public Relations, Inc. where she specialized in community relations, government affairs and media relations with a primary focus on PR, public affairs, land use and environmental policy, hospitality & tourism development, business advocacy, agriculture and grassroots community engagement. Kristina serves as Executive Director of the San Benito County Business Council, as a community engagement consultant in business development, energy, land use, agriculture and public policy sectors. She also serves as a Client Advisor for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC). She is active throughout the Central Coast region in Farm Day agricultural education programs, area Chambers of Commerce, Farm Bureaus of San Benito, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, Rotary Club of Hollister and California Women for Agriculture. She was appointed by Governor Brown in July 2014 to serve as a Trustee of the 33rd Agricultural District/San Benito County Fair. Kristina has been recognized as the 2009 Salinas Jaycees Outstanding Young Citizen, the 2010 Central Coast Young Farmers and Ranchers Member of the Year and 2010 Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year. Under her leadership, Farmhouse Communications was honored by the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau as 2015 Service Business of the Year. Kristina’s work in community engagement as a member of the project team on the City of Salinas Economic Development Element was lauded in May and July 2015 by the American Planning Association Northern California and California State Chapters with awards of excellence for economic development planning and in April 2016 with an Outstanding Award in planning by the Association of Environmental Professionals. Kristina is a 5th generation Californian, raised in Gilroy. She is a graduate of Gavilan College and the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Agriculture and lives in Hollister with her husband Craig Wyatt who works as an agricultural crop production supervisor, their twin daughters Hailey and Molly and dog Rabbit.