La Casa de la Raza will continue to do whatever it takes to sustain its 44 year tradition of providing services to members of the Santa Barbara community. Contrary to reports in the press, La Casa de la Raza was not foreclosed upon and has reached an agreement with its lender. The agreement reached resolves Casa de la Raza’s lawsuit against the lender and provides La Casa the time it needs to achieve a permanent solution in refinancing this current loan. The lender charged exorbitant fees and penalties which were unexplained and not authorized by the loan documents. Fidelity had repeatedly threatened foreclosure over the last two years and La Casa needed to put an end those unfair practices. The Board of Directors of La Casa fought back, hired a local attorney, and filed a lawsuit to put an end to unfair lending practices. On June 18, 2015, La Casa de la Raza sought and won a temporary restraining order and on July 15th, we reached an agreement with the lender after not prevailing in court. The next steps will include finalizing a new and more equitable loan with a new lender.
Additionally, La Casa de la Raza board and staff want to address the misinformation being spread via local media outlets and social media. The fact is, historically, Latinos and La Casa have been portrayed negatively in local media, and this last round of misinformation has caused confusion, uncertainties and misrepresentations. The larger questions about why the local media refuse to present any positive coverage about the ongoing current programming, services and events offered yearlong by La Casa is a challenge for this community to face and address. Thank you to the hundreds of supporters and allies who recognize these media bursts of constructed crises, negativity, and maligning for what it truly is and call to question why we are constantly being portrayed and defined in such divisive and negative stereotypes and images.
Not unlike many local non-profits in this community, we face real challenges that are being addressed and managed by current staff and the current Board of Directors along with several attorneys. To be clear, we honor the struggles of the 1970s that brought La Casa into existence. We recognize this legacy for the strengths and visions that inspire us to this day. It is that very strength and vision that the current staff and Board of Directors draw upon to address the inherited debt and fiscal challenges. To those individuals who continue to comment on local media sources about La Casa and who have not participated nor contributed to La Casa in over 30 years, we ask that you refrain from causing further division. La Casa and our community as a whole deserve better.
We thank all you who have reached out to us currently involved for accurate and up to date statements of fact. The current staff and board have assumed these responsibilities, and while we note that resolving some of these fiscal challenges have indeed taken much longer to resolve than expected. We hereby commit to ensuring that La Casa will persevere. Our supporters should be assured that we are at the end of a period of renewed commitment restoring fiscal stability. La Casa looks forward to the opportunity to create the future together.
La Casa, like many other Santa Barbara non-profit agencies relies on its hundreds of volunteers and donors to keep its doors open. La Casa deeply appreciates the many calls of support, solidarity and concern, and assures the community that it will be here for another 44 years. La Casa de la Raza continues to provide services and programming, serving thousands annually and welcomes support from the Santa Barbara Community. For those of you who have expressed wanting to support La Casa de la Raza and its many programs, please go to our website and click on the donate button.