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O.C. Housing Trust names new executive director

Martina Guilfoil will lead the agency's efforts to create living quarters for low-income families and the disabled.

By Larry UrishPublished: February 10, 2011

The board of directors of the Orange County Housing Trust (OCHT) – a nonprofit that develops and finances living quarters for homeless and low-income families and individuals, as well as those with special physical and mental disabilities – yesterday appointed Martina S. Guilfoil as its new executive director.

With nearly a quarter-century of experience in programs focused on developing affordable dwellings and revitalizing neighborhoods, Guilfoil has spearheaded an assortment of related projects in California, Washington state and Florida. She has facilitated the funding of new-loan programs, managed large-mortgage loans and oversaw programs dealing with everything from youth employment and housing preservation to key services for first-time homebuyers and those seeking financial education.

Guilfoil served as president of the National NeighborWorks Association and, acting as the organization's lead spokesperson, testified before Congress about issues related to affordable housing. In 1997, she received the Outstanding Community Investment Award, as well as the Emerging Community Expert honor, for her creation of lending programs designed to help lower-income neighborhoods.

“(Guilfoil) has a very impressive track record of creating and implementing successful affordable-housing, public-financing and economic-development programs," said Peter Denniston, OCHT's chairman of the board. "We are fortunate to have an executive with her passion and experience as the Trust’s new executive director. The board looks forward to expanding our programs under her very capable leadership.”

Guilfoil most recently served as executive director of the Rainier Valley (Wash.) Community Development Fund. There, she helped keep businesses from leaving the area and assisted others in creating new employment opportunities. In addition, she gave out $2.1 million in small-business loans and $10.2 million in new commercial predevelopment loans.

As executive director of the Community Housing Trust of Sarasota County (Fla.) between 2006 and 2008, Guilfoil headed the acquisition of $15.5 million for affordable housing projects. In addition, she was a key player in the development of 300 new housing units throughout the county.

During her two decades as head of Inglewood Neighborhood Housing Services, between 1986 and 2006, Guilfoil raised more than $6 million to provide mortgage assistance for 330 first-time homebuyers and was instrumental in educating more than 2,200 potential homebuyers about related financial issues.

The development and financing efforts of the OCHT is carried out through a collection of corporate, community and institutional investors. Created in 2004, the Trust sustains a revolving loan fund and a variety of grant-making programs to develop quality affordable housing in the county.

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