Belmont joins HEART housing program

August 13, 2008 9:05:08 PM PDT
The Belmont City Council voted Tuesday to join the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust, or HEART, of San Mateo County, which raises public and private funds to meet the county's housing needs, the trust's executive director said today.

The trust, formed in 2003, supports the construction of new homes and provides financial support for homebuyers, HEART executive director Chris Mohr said. The trust provides loans to builders -- most often non-profit builders -- to construct, upgrade or renovate affordable housing, Mohr said.

The trust has invested $5.25 million in four developments resulting in nearly 500 new and renovated apartments, and currently holds about $1.25 million in funds to help build or renovate more affordable housing.

Belmont was previously a member of the HEART joint powers authority, the trust's governing body, but withdrew due to financial constraints, Mohr said. Cities pay dues to fund the administration of the trust fund, and the city of Belmont withdrew during a budget crunch, he said.

With Belmont as a member again after the council's 5-0 vote Tuesday night, all 20 cities, as well as the county, are members of the HEART joint powers authority.

"HEART congratulates Belmont for joining this countywide effort to fund affordable homes for people who live, work and grow up here," Mohr said. "Belmont will be a key partner in our efforts."

The HEART board of directors is made up of 11 county elected officials and nine members from the private sector, Mohr said.


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