VENTURA, Calif. — The cost of living and soaring rental prices contribute to the scarce inventory of affordable housing in Ventura County. In large part, the success of the county's homeless programs depends on developing strong partnerships with landlords who are willing to go the extra mile to help these vulnerable families find a home in Ventura County. To recognize property managers who have stepped forward, Marissa Mach, Deputy Director for the Human Services Agency's Adult & Family Services Department along with the agency's Homeless Services team, hosted the first annual Landlord & Property Manager "Building a Community" Appreciation Breakfast on February 11, 2016.
Research shows that stable safe housing is critical for the well-being, health and long-term success of children and families. The Ventura County Human Services Agency operates two programs that assist residents in need of housing: the CalWORKs Housing Support Program and the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Both programs provide services and offer funding from federal, state and local sources to assist residents who are currently homeless or facing homelessness. Assistance includes intensive support and case management and may include rental and utility deposits, credit counseling and moving costs. Over the past several years, these programs have housed over 1,000 children and adults in Ventura County.
"Willing landlords and property managers are key players in our effort to offer stable and appropriate housing to homeless clients. We've seen great success with the partnerships we have in place," said Mach.
Some 35 representatives from the county, non-profit and business sectors gathered to acknowledge the critical work of local property managers in partnering to alleviate homelessness in Ventura County, and to hear inspirational testimonials from clients who got a "new lease on life" through the joint efforts of social workers and property managers. At the breakfast, three property management companies were honored with certificates of recognition for their ongoing partnership in helping individuals and families facing homelessness secure and maintain stable housing: Troop Premier Property Management; Pacific Point Apartments; and Gateway Plaza Apartments.
Also attending the event was a client – a success story from the CalWORKs Housing Supportive Program. This client is a young single mother who is also caring for several elderly and disabled family members. All adults in the household have low incomes and live together to help cover living expenses. Since securing a home for her family, the client has found full-time employment and her family is happy and thriving.
Property managers who are interested in learning more about the benefits of partnership with the Human Services Agency's Homeless Services program to build a better community should call Amy Luoma, Housing Specialist, at (805) 385-1813.
Photo: Left to right: Marissa Mach, Amy Luoma and Karol Schulkin from the Human Services Agency present a certificate of appreciation to Laurie Coello and Mary Almana from Troop Premier Property Management