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    “I did it!” Single mom achieves lifelong dream of becoming a homeowner in the midst of COVID-19 thanks to $100,000 in mortgage assistance

    Ventura County Community Development Corporation (VCCDC) is celebrating the success of its first From Here Forward program recipient. Last month, Mia Martinez, a long-time Ventura County resident, closed on her first home with the help of $100,000 in down payment assistance from VCCDC. With available funding for another 29 families, VCCDC is inviting residents to apply for this special program.

    The From Here Forward Program is made possible with CalHome homebuying assistance funds from the State of California and it provides gap funding for homebuyers who were physically or  economically displaced by the Thomas or Woolsey Fires in Ventura County. Mia, single mom of two adult sons and legal guardian of her 4-year-old granddaughter, Prestin, has always rented. Like many Ventura County residents, after the Thomas and Woolsey Fires, her rent went through the roof with 10% increases every year as housing supply shortages were exacerbated in Ventura County and landlords raised rents. With over 50% of her income going towards her rent, she had no other choice but to move in with family into a 10×10 bedroom for her and her granddaughter. 

    “When we first met with Mia, she had already been working with her realtor, Ernesto Vargas, to set budgeting goals,” says Alex Vega, Director of Lending Services at VCCDC, “However, even with a great job at the County of Ventura and previously at the City of Santa Barbara, without the $100,000 from the From Here Forward Program, it wouldn’t have been possible for Mia to get the home she dreamed of.”

    Mia agrees, saying “Alex was instrumental in getting us a home. It was a lot of paperwork but the pay-off has been so worth it.” Mia and her granddaughter moved into her new home just in time for the Christmas holidays. Her new job at the County of Ventura is now within walking distance. “It feels weird not to have to keep all my moving boxes for the next time I move,” says Mia, “this is my permanent home. I did it! I feel so happy and my sons are proud of me.” Thanks to Mia’s success story, other members of her family have already signed up to VCCDC’s educational programs and hope to get a home of their own in the future.

    Though Mia is considered a moderate-income household (<120% AMI), low-income families (<80% AMI) in Ventura County can also access this life-changing mortgage support.  The assistance provided by the From Here Forward Program combined with other programs VCCDC offers makes homeownership possible for families who would traditionally be left without a piece of the American Dream due to rising home prices.

    Now more than ever, VCCDC is strongly encouraging people to take this opportunity to start their journey toward homeownership in Ventura County In addition to homebuying assistance programs, VCCDC has HUD-certified professionals on staff to help future homebuyers prepare for purchasing by guiding them to improve credit scores, increase savings and reduce debt – all at no cost.  VCCDC is hosting an informational online session on Wednesday, March 3rd – 6:00pm in English and 7:00pm in Spanish (registrations at Interested parties can also contact VCCDC at 805-273-7800 or schedule a phone consultation at to complete a preliminary application.


    VCCDC Mission

    “To strengthen and sustain vibrant communities by empowering and enabling low-to-moderate income individuals and families to build wealth through education and homeownership with a primary focus on serving low-to-moderate income clients”.

    At VCCDC, we believe that a home is more than a place to live. It is the cornerstone of any individual and family’s economic, environmental and social well being. We operate under specific guiding principles, including:

    • Client Focus – we are focused on delivering the outcomes our clients care about in a consistent and equitable manner.
    • Accountability – we hold ourselves accountable to each other and the the families and communities we serve.
    • Sustainability – we are committed to building relationships that provide long-term sustainability to VCCDC and our clients.

    VCCDC strives to help individuals, families, and businesses achieve their goal of self-sufficiency. We are a safe-haven for those seeking information and resources to come learn about their options regarding home ownership and financial stability. As a neutral, trusted source, we are here to offer guidance to people seeking to make some of the largest and most important purchases of their lives, and show them a new way home.


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