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The Mortgage House gives back to SLO


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San Luis Obispo manages to maintain its small town feel even as it expands. Residents are active in city matters, people know each other, and it’s a close-knit community. The Mortgage House in San Luis Obispo has been a part of that community for 20 years, offering mortgage loans and banking services. 

“We’re the longest standing mortgage banking operation in the county,” said Mary Trudeau, sales manager at The Mortgage House’s San Luis Obispo location. “One of the big things we stand for is integrity and honesty.” 

CHECK WRITERS:  The Mortgage House is giving back to the communities it operates in with the help of an endowment fund directed toward helping businesses and students on the Central Coast. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MORTGAGE HOUSE
  • CHECK WRITERS: The Mortgage House is giving back to the communities it operates in with the help of an endowment fund directed toward helping businesses and students on the Central Coast.

After operating on the Central Coast for 20 years, The Mortgage House plans to give back to the community to the tune of $20,000—and that’s just the beginning. This year The Mortgage House will start an endowment fund it hopes will help businesses and students on the Central Coast for years to come.

The fund will begin as a $20,000 endowment. With every loan it closes, The Mortgage House will donate to that endowment, enabling it to grow indefinitely. Every year, funds will be awarded to different organizations that benefit things ranging from affordable housing and educational services to scholarships for students and green building. 

“We are a very conscientious community,” Trudeau said. “We are a young community and we want to protect our environment, we want to educate and help our local people. It really is a community that gives back. We want to be part of that. We want to be able to help and give back.”

Since the fund will grow indefinitely through continuous donations, The Mortgage House plans to award as many grants as possible every year. With its passion for affordable housing and finance, The Mortgage House hopes the community fund will help finance housing, green building projects, and the future lenders, bankers, and contractors of San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties.

“We’re aiming to give multiple grants a year,” Trudeau said. “That’s exciting to us because then we can touch on not just workforce housing but then also a scholarship for someone who’s going into finance.”

A committee will choose where the funds are awarded based on suggestions for beneficiaries made by employees of The Mortgage House’s branches in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Atascadero. After a decision has been made, The SLO Community Foundation, which will manage the fund, will distribute the money. 

Trudeau pointed out that The Mortgage House wouldn’t be where it is today without the community it serves and that the fund was created with the simple purpose of giving back to a community that has been influential in The Mortgage House’s success.

“These are our people,” Trudeau said.” “These are our community’s children coming up and we want to be able to help them.”

Other individuals or businesses interested in donating to the endowment fund can do so through The SLO Community Fund’s website at

Fast fact

On Feb. 18 the San Luis Obispo City Council voted to approve HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, allowing homeowners to make water and energy efficiency improvements to their homes and pay them off over time through their property taxes. The financing program, already adopted by the rest of the county and neighboring ones such as Monterey, Fresno, and Kern counties, has helped fund efficiency projects in tens of thousands of homes in California. 

Eligible retrofits give homeowners a quick way to address water saving issues that are particularly important as California continues to suffer through a drought despite recent rain. The HERO program also creates jobs—an estimated 10,700 of them—as efficiency renovations create a demand for contractor services. To date, projects funded through HERO are expected to save $2.28 billion on energy bills and reduce emissions by 2.1 million tons. 

The HERO program, available in 38 California counties, is part of a larger trend, and PACE financing has been approved in 30 states. For more information visit  

New Times Intern Branden Hopper wrote this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Email tips to [email protected].


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