Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation held a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for its newest affordable housing property on April 6 with about 150 people in attendance. Camino Esperanza in Simi Valley provides housing for seniors and those with disabilities.
“Cabrillo is proud to be a participant in the housing element for almost every city in the county from Simi Valley to Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru. We are the only nonprofit based affordable home builder based in Ventura County that can make that claim,” said Dave Sabedra Cabrillo board president.
The event included open house tours of two of the 31 units on the property; a ceremony featuring state, county and local elected officials, Simi Valley city planning officials; property funders; and community organizations and nonprofits with a luncheon for residents and attendees following the ceremony.
About 15 residents already have moved in and are enjoying setting up their apartments and getting to know one another. During the ceremony, resident Patricia Spensieri spoke about what Camino Esperanza means to her.
“Welcome to Camino Esperanza, it really is a little slice of heaven. I’ve never seen anything like this. I was a homeowner, and I feel like a homeowner again,” Spensieri said. “I love it. I love the back door, the porch. It’s like a dream come true, honestly. I really never thought that I would have my own place again, and you’ve really made a dream come true for me.
“Also, I’ve met some of the residents here, and everybody is so nice and so approachable and so thankful that they are living here and have a unit. You have no idea what you folks did for the seniors here. I’m so glad to be here. All I can say is everything is beautiful. It’s a dream come true, and I hope you can build more of these. Thank you.”
Cabrillo Chief Executive Officer Margarita H. De Escontrias said that to meet the need for affordable housing in Ventura County, it would require more than 26,000 affordable rental units. “We are far short, but striving to achieve this goal, and it will take all of us in affordable housing working together,” she said.
She recognized the County of Ventura’s Area Housing Authority and Many Mansions as well as project funders, including Bank of the West, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc., Ventura County Housing Trust Fund, the State of California Housing Community Development’s HOME and Multifamily Home Program and the City of Simi Valley for their roles in the project’s success.
Sabedra also thanked the City of Simi Valley for its role, saying, “The Board and staff are extremely grateful to Simi Valley for its assistance in making Camino Esperanza possible. The city has been a valuable partner to Cabrillo on this project and the 71-unit apartment complex on Alamo Road known as Plaza Del Sol. So, on behalf of the board and staff, I want to extend our sincere gratitude for the city’s continued support.”
The ADA-accessible property includes a community room, and barbecue and sitting areas for residents and has many unique features, such as basin water infiltration system rather than storm drains. Other features include energy-efficient appliances, under-cabinet lighting and contrasting edges on countertops, which are especially helpful for seniors.
Escontrias also recognized community organizations who provided referrals, awareness and support of the project, including Tri-Counties Regional Center, Ventura County Health Care Agency, Ventura County Area Agency on Aging, Simi Valley Senior Center, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Millennium Care, FOOD Share and ARC of Ventura County.
To see additional photos of this event, visit our Facebook Page.
To see coverage from the event, visit the Simi Valley Acorn.