PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Community West Bank helps build Habitat for Humanity homes

Fourteen Community West Bank employees volunteered their Saturday to help build Habitat for Humanity’s Canon Perdido Affordable Homes Project.

The project, located at 822 and 824 E. Canon Perdido St., comprises 12 new affordable homes for low and very-low income families. The three-, two- and one-bedroom units range between 750 and 1,200 square feet each and will be certified “Passive Houses,” with the goal of near zero energy usage.

Community West Bank volunteers painted, helped dig holes for fence posts, weeded and cleared the construction site. In addition to donating their time, the team also donated money for the paint and other supplies they used, according to Carlyn Smith, senior vice president and community reinvestment officer at Community West Bank.

“Everyone had a wonderful time,” Ms. Smith said. “Working alongside the homeowners gave us such enthusiasm and a great sense of accomplishment. Affordable housing is near and dear to my heart. The bank has supported and donated to Habitat’s great work for years; however, this year, we were glad to also contribute some sweat equity. Partnering with the homeowners and seeing their pride in ownership — that was the best investment.”

Community West Bank hopes to expand its partnership with Habitat for Humanity in the future, Ms. Smith said.

“We hope to offer more financial education for Habitat homeowners — from lending prospective to deposit prospective,” she said. “We want to be a resource to anyone who comes through Habitat.”

Community West Bank was founded as Goleta National Bank in 1989. In 2004, the name changed to Community West Bank to better reflect the bank’s expanding footprint while emphasizing its three core services: relationship banking, mortgage lending and small business administration (SBA) lending. It has since grown and now has $550 million in assets and 130 employees at five branches — Goleta (the original), Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura and Westlake Village.

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