Irvine, CA, March 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeighborWorks Orange County (NWOC) and Orange County Business Council (OCBC) today announced the launch of the revitalized Orange County Housing Trust (OCHT), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the supply and availability of affordable housing units in Orange County, powered by the alliance of both organizations. NWOC and OCBC have retooled Orange County Housing Trust, originally established in January 2010, as a financing vehicle for grantors, foundations and corporations to leverage public and private funding to bring future permanent supportive and affordable housing projects in Orange County across the finish line.

The Orange County Housing Trust intends to provide the “last mile” funding needed for permanent supportive and affordable housing projects that have already secured the majority of their financing. The Disneyland Resort has stepped up as the first private donor, giving the OCHT a $5 million grant that will support projects in Anaheim. The grant from Disneyland was needed in moving The Manchester Project, a 102-unit affordable housing development, into its final phase of funding and to groundbreaking in 2020.

“OCBC is proud to work with NWOC in revitalizing the Orange County Housing Trust and moving quickly toward steps that will result in immediate construction of supportive housing developments,” said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO of Orange County Business Council. “We are challenging local business leaders to join us in tackling this serious issue by following the Disneyland Resort’s lead as we work to fund similar projects in the pipeline. Cities do not bear the costs of statewide housing shortfalls alone – ultimately, businesses and residents pay the price in the form of higher fees and taxes, greater demand on public safety services and increased cost of social services. Thus, we must all band together to address this issue in order to safeguard and sustain a high quality of life for Orange County residents.”

Recognizing that effective models addressing affordable housing around the country – including the successful Housing Trust Silicon Valley – have involved the collective efforts of both public and private parties united in tackling important social issues, Orange County business leaders have rallied around the housing-first mission of Orange County Housing Trust. OCHT Board of Directors is comprised of the region’s top business leaders including Dan Miller, The Irvine Company; Joe Hensley, U.S. Bank; Lucy Dunn, OCBC; Lisa Haines, Disneyland Resort; and Steve Churm, FivePoint Holdings, LLC. NWOC members include Warren Harris, Luther Burbank Savings; Cesar Covarrubias, Kennedy Commission; Andy Lamb, CalWest Bank; and Helen O’Sullivan, NWOC.

“Communities need permanent supportive housing to help address homelessness and the housing affordability challenges impacting nearly every city throughout California,” said Josh D’Amaro, President of Disneyland Resort. “We are proud to support the Orange County Housing Trust with a $5 million grant that will be focused on Anaheim-based projects and look forward to the Trust’s role in addressing this need in our community.”

The $5 million grant from Disneyland Resort is the first leadership-level commitment received by Orange County Housing Trust in support of gap financing for the acquisition, development and construction of permanent supportive and affordable housing projects in Orange County.

“With Orange County’s affordable housing crisis growing to epic proportions, we are so grateful to Disneyland Resort for stepping up to play an important part in solving this issue,” said Helen O’Sullivan, Executive Director of Orange County Housing Trust. “With this generous donation by Disneyland Resort, and matching donations from our business community, we will be able to efficiently bridge the funding gap for this much-needed project and many others in the region, ultimately reducing homelessness and enhancing the quality of life for all Orange County residents.”

Expected to break ground in 2020, Jamboree Housing’s Manchester project is the city’s 13th affordable housing project and is designed to help Anaheim access a new source of state funding – money earmarked for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This will be achieved by the development’s sustainable and energy-efficient design, as well as its convenient location to much of Anaheim’s larger employers.

ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY HOUSING TRUST

Orange County Housing Trust is a fully qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit private capital-funded trust dedicated to increasing the supply and availability of permanent supportive housing units and affordable housing developments in Orange County to prevent homelessness. With renewed interest to solve the homelessness crisis in Orange County, Orange County Business Council approached NeighborWorks Orange County to work together to retool OCHT and seek donations from the private sector interested in making a difference. For more information, visit http://ochousingtrust.org

ABOUT NEIGHBORWORKS ORANGE COUNTY

Since 1977, NeighborWorks Orange County has empowered diverse neighborhoods to create high quality environments for residents – all in support of the vision of Home as a safe, affordable place to become empowered, encouraged and inspired. Today, NWOC provides services throughout and beyond the region to people from all walks of life. For more information, visit http://nwoc.org.

ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS COUNCIL

Orange County Business Council represents and promotes the business community, working with government and academia to enhance Orange County’s economic development and prosperity in order to preserve a high quality of life. OCBC is comprised of the region’s most influential global businesses and organizations in the region, working to assure effective investment in infrastructure, an advanced education system that produces skilled workers, growth of venture capital and high tech companies, and housing solutions for the workforce. OCBC membership is comprised of some of the world’s largest global corporate leaders as well as representation from local government and academia. For more information, visit http://www.ocbc.org.

ABOUT DISNEYLAND RESORT

Located on approximately 500 acres in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the 973-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. With 30,000 cast members, the Disneyland Resort is Orange County’s largest employer and generates $5.7 billion for the Southern California economy. The Resort has welcomed more than 800 million guests since opening on July 17, 1955.

Contact: Helen O’Sullivan, Executive Director, Orange County Housing Trust, heleno@nwoc.org
Contact: Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, Orange County Business Council, ldunn@ocbc.org


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Catherine Harper
Orange County Business Council
9497947245
charper@ocbc.org