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Bank of America Names Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County and 5Cities Homeless Coalition as Neighborhood Champions for the Central Coast

Program Provides Multi-Year Grants to Each Organization and Virtual Leadership Training
 
CENTRAL COAST, Calif. Programs and services that are addressing homelessness and affordable housing across the Central Coast will scale, helping more people chart a path toward economic opportunity with help from multi-year grants from Bank of America. Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County and 5Cities Homeless Coalition have been named 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Champions for their work removing economic barriers and advancing economic opportunity. 
 
Through the program, Bank of America empowers nonprofit leaders to address pressing community needs more effectively by providing $50,000 in grants over two years along with leadership development training from experts on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability and strategic storytelling.? 
 
The local housing shortage and increase in rent prices are driving a lack of housing affordability across the Tri-counties. The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area, for example, has the worst housing shortage in the nation, according to a recent census data study by Up for Growth and the homeless population in Ventura county alone has grown by 25% over the past two years.
 
Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County is working to address this challenge through homeownership, home repair and advocacy programs for low- and moderate-income families. The bank grant will support Habitat’s effort to build 61 new affordable homes over the next five years in Simi Valley and Ojai, as well as an inaugural home build project of 28 tiny homes in Oxnard. The organization will also use the leadership training to help to develop its home repair program to help more low-income homeowners.
 
“There is no easy solution to Ventura County's housing issues, but we know providing more affordable housing and homeownership opportunities for working families who wouldn't otherwise have them will make a remarkable impact on our community,” said Darcy Taylor, CEO Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County.  “Bank of America continues to be a longstanding partner and shares our commitment to helping individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.”  
 
 
San Luis Obispo County has seen an increase in the time people experiencing homelessness were likely to spend on the streets compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 84% of people experiencing homelessness now living on the streets for more than a year, according to a recent 2022 Point-In-Time countRising rents and very low vacancy rates, coupled with inflation and the residual effects of the pandemic, are all contributing to an exponential increase in need for housing assistance to both prevent eviction and help those experiencing homelessness obtain stable housing faster.  
 
5Cities Homeless Coalition helps the most vulnerable populations throughout San Luis Obispo County with housing support by coupling targeted case management services and direct financial assistance to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk, ensuring clients don’t fall back into homelessness. The organization has grown exponentially in recent years, becoming a lead organization for homeless services in the county. The grant and leadership training will allow them to continue their rapid growth by developing and scaling new programs. 
 
“Our efforts to help the most vulnerable in our community have safe, reliable housing keeps growing as we’ve taken on additional projects to help hard-to-reach populations, build our referral network and continue our rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention services,” said Janna Nichols, executive director, 5Cities Homeless Coalition. “Bank of America’s Neighborhood Champion grant will enable us to continue to build sustainability and longevity, as we chart our way forward to meet emerging community needs.”  
 
“It’s important that we direct not only capital, but the necessary resources and training to help position these nonprofits and their leadership team for long-term success as they grow strategically and make a positive impact,” said Greg Bland, President, Bank of America San Luis Obispo.
 
“Nonprofits are the backbone to our communities as they are on the ground working closely with individuals, families and community members to understand the obstacles many are experiencing and developing programs and services that will help alleviate or eliminate these barriers,” said Midge Campbell-Thomas, president, Bank of America Ventura/Santa Barbara.
 
Since 2019 Bank of America has selected as Neighborhood Champions local nonprofits El Camino Homeless Organization, Economic Vitality Corporation, People’s Self Help Housing, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Many Mansions and Women’s Economic Ventures. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Neighborhood Champion honorees. 
 
Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
 
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