CAROL J. ORNELAS
Carol J. Ornelas is a visionary and advocate for providing quality affordable housing to families throughout the Counties of the Central Valley – Fresno, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Sacramento, and Stanislaus. For the past 30 years, she has served as Chief Executive Officer for Visionary Home Builders of California, formerly ACLC, Inc.; a non-profit residential development company and provider of social services in housing related issues. VHB is headquartered in Stockton, California.
Highly recognized as a leader, Carol is involved and well known in the housing industry, both locally and nationally. Her strength is in building and creating partnerships with citizens of the community, and collaborating with city, state and national officials and agencies to provide quality affordable housing. Under Carol’s direct leadership, Visionary Home Builders has built and rehabilitated more than 1,200 units of rental housing and more than 500 residential homes for first time homebuyers.
Through the VHB Homeownership and Rental Center, educational programs and opportunities are available to members of the community seeking guidance on purchasing a home, with special emphasis on financial responsibility, understanding mortgage and lending, as well as general education for sustaining a healthy home and lifestyle. The VHB Homeownership and Rental Center has also assisted thousands of families through foreclosure or loan modification processes with HUD certified counselors. During the recession when Stockton received national attention for being considered “ground zero of foreclosures,” VHB received funding for the City of Stockton and the County of San Joaquin to implement the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help combat this situation.
Carol is one of 49 leaders nationwide selected for the NeighborWorks® Achieving Excellence in Community Development program in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She completed the course in the fall of 2012.
Carol is proud of the work her staff accomplishes on a daily basis. She takes pride in knowing that her non-profit organization has the resources to provide quality housing for the “underserved”. This allows her to continue Visionary Home Builders’ mission, “to focus on a clear vision of providing balanced communities that incorporate housing, education and child development services for its residents.” A perfect example of Visionary Home Builders is its work with the County of San Joaquin in the development of a community of 76 units of housing for Farmworker families who live here all year round. The community includes childcare with an emphasis on early development, social services and a medical clinic. The project was awarded “Best Affordable Housing Project” in its category in the nation by Affordable Housing Finance magazine. Through her leadership, she has been able to bring over six-hundred million dollars in grants and private dollars to develop affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley.