Latest Many Mansions vision is focused on unhoused seniors

50-unit complex proposed south of Camarillo



A PLACE TO STAY—If approved for state funding, Rancho Sierra Apartments would provide 49 units of housing and behavioral health services for extremely low-income seniors who have a mental health diagnosis, are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

A PLACE TO STAY—If approved for state funding, Rancho Sierra Apartments would provide 49 units of housing and behavioral health services for extremely low-income seniors who have a mental health diagnosis, are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

After suffering multiple setbacks in recent years to provide more below-market-rate housing in Thousand Oaks, nonprofit builder Many Mansions is looking west.

If approved for state funding, the proposed Rancho Sierra Apartments in unincorporated Ventura County south of Camarillo would provide 49 units of housing and behavioral health services for extremely low-income seniors 62 and older who have a mental health diagnosis, are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

The apartments would be available to people throughout the county.

Derrick Wada, associate director of real estate development for Many Mansions, one of the groups heading the project, said it was conceptually approved by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in June and is in the land entitlement process.

It is expected to return to the board in December for final approval.

Susan White Wood, housing manager for Ventura County Behavioral Health, said housing projects that target populations susceptible to homelessness are especially important now, when the county’s housing vacancy rate is less than 3.5%.

At least 1,740 people are living without a home in Ventura County, according to the county’s latest count, though officials suspect the actual number is much higher.

In addition to the lack of available housing, White Wood said, the rent in Ventura County, which averages $2,037 per month, is more than most people can afford.

The 2-acre project site is a parcel of land just outside Camarillo city limits which neighbors Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families, Rain Communities homeless shelter and Casa de Esperanza counseling center, organizations with initiatives similar to those of the proposed project.

“We feel that this project fits well within that community and provides a greater adhesive to bring all those different organizations together,” White Wood said.

According to project leaders, residents of the proposed development would have access to support services from the county’s behavioral health department, including health screenings, transportation assistance, peer counseling and community-building events.

At the project’s helm are the Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura and Many Mansions.

Organizers expect nearly half the units—24—to be paid for with funding from No Place Like Home, a statewide voter-approved initiative meant to put $2 billion in bond proceeds toward supportive housing for the unhoused in need of mental health services.

Other funds will come from conventional construction and permanent loans and additional state funding sources, said Juliana Gallardo, a property manager for Many Mansions.

Project leaders expect to bring the No Place Like Home funding application before the Board of Supervisors in December.

If the application is approved and the project is awarded the expected funds, it could break ground in March 2022 and complete construction by July 2023, according to the project timeline.

Many Mansions will be responsible for property management.

Questions or comments can be emailed to ranchosierraapartments@manymansions.org.