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North Bay Business Journal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 4:24 pm

Marin Workforce Housing Trust gets $400,000 toward its goal of $6 million

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    SAN RAFAEL — Union Bank N.A. donated $100,000 to the Marin Workforce Housing Trust to help support affordable workforce housing in Marin County.

    The trust is a public-private nonprofit partnership between the business community, Marin Community Foundation and the County of Marin, partnering with local organizations to allow families to work and live in the county. The foundation and county will match the bank’s gift, resulting in $300,000 of additional funding toward the trust’s fundraising goal of $6 million.

    “We appreciate this significant support from Union Bank for the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of workforce housing,” said Linda Wagner, executive director of the trust. “Union Bank’s generous contribution allows individuals working in Marin, and their families, to live closer to their jobs and makes it possible for businesses, schools and service organizations to staff with local residents.”

    Julius Robinson, said executive vice president of Union Bank and its head of corporate social responsibility, the bank is committed to building healthy communities by supporting organizations such as Marin Workforce Housing Trust.

    “Affordable housing not only transforms communities, it transforms lives,” he said. “As a long-standing supporter of affordable housing, the Union Bank Foundation is pleased to provide Marin Workforce Housing Trust with this donation in support of its work in Marin County.”

    A group of employers concerned about expanding workforce housing in Marin County formed Marin Workforce Housing Trust in 2004. Private- and public-sector partners match contributions and investments.

    The trust uses its funds to make low-interest rate loans to developers for the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of workforce housing. When construction is complete, the loans are repaid and reinvested in other projects.

    Trust funds are targeted to fill critical gaps in workforce housing finance. “First-in” money purchases land, secures sites and funds predevelopment work. “Last-in” money closes the funding gap for developments that otherwise would not be able to be built.

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