FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/21/2016
Oxnard, CA—Mercy Loan Fund (MLF), a leading Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Denver, Colo., announced that it has partnered with Mercy Housing California. (MHC), to preserve 64 affordable homes in Oxnard, Calif.
MLF has provided MHC with a $3.15 million loan to refinance expiring debt, replenish the replacement reserve account, and perform capital improvements to MHI’s Casa San Juan property. The community provides homes to families making 60 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) and offers large three- and four-bedroom apartments, a rarity in affordable housing.
“As the affordable housing crisis continues, and in some place worsens, it’s more important than ever that we work to create and preserve affordable housing for all family sizes,” said Jason Battista, President of MLF.
The homes are meant to help people like Elizabeth, who, after surviving 11 years of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, attempted to take her own life. Her neighbor found Elizabeth collapsed on the floor of her bathroom and called 911.
“After the hospital, I decided that that was enough, and I decided to do something. I left my husband.”
Elizabeth took her four children, and moved into a small, cramped apartment. Elizabeth’s friend, who knew that she was struggling to pay rent, recommended that she apply to live in Casa San Juan.
“When I heard that my application had been accepted, I was so very, very happy. It was one of my happiest days in many years. We came to Casa San Juan, and it was so new. Since then, I’ve tried to keep my apartment like it was on that first day.”
Having finally found a safe, decent, and affordable home, Elizabeth studied to be a medical assistant, and then a certified nursing assistant.
Today, Elizabeth’s four children are flourishing. Her eldest daughter is working as a pharmacy technician and studying to be a pharmacist. Her second daughter is pursuing a degree in anthropology, and her youngest daughter is studying nursing. Her son graduated with a master’s degree in psychology and now works with youth who have experienced domestic violence.
Elizabeth serves on the board of Lideres Campesinas, an organization that seeks to empower women working as migrant farmworkers. She volunteers her time and shares her story of survival with other women who have experienced domestic violence.
“Whether I am sick or healthy, I always try to be involved and help other people,” she says. “Without Casa San Juan, I don’t know where I would be. I might be dead. I might be homeless.”
About Mercy Loan Fund
For three decades, Mercy Loan Fund has focused exclusively on funding affordable housing and essential community infrastructure projects that support affordable housing. By collaborating with socially-responsible developers, Mercy Loan Fund has helped finance the development of single and multifamily homes for rental and homeownership. These developments help a variety of people including low-income families, the working poor, seniors, farm works, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with special needs. Mercy Loan Fund is a subsidiary of the affordable housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing. For more information, please visit www.mercyloanfund.org.