VISALIA – Self-Help Enterprises has long been regarded as the premiere developer of affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley, but now it can make the claim that it is among the best in the nation.
This month, Affordable Housing Finance magazine named Self-Help Enterprises among the nation’s top 50 affordable housing developers for 2017. Ranked No. 42 on the list and one of only seven nonprofits to make the list, Self-Help Enterprises started construction on nine developments with 156 homes in 2017.
Since 1965, Self-Help Enterprises has created rental and homeownership opportunities for families and farmworkers in eight San Joaquin Valley counties – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, and Tulare – through the organization’s housing rehabilitation, self-help housing, rental housing and community development efforts. With agriculture at the heart of the Valley’s economy, farmworker families occupy about 75% of Self-Help Enterprises’ new construction developments.
“This ranking is a testament to our commitment to addressing the shortage of much-needed affordable housing,” said Tom Collishaw, President and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. “We are proud of our partnerships with public officials, community organizations, and many others who work with us to provide a range of homeownership and rental opportunities for low-income families.”
Self-Help Enterprises’ housing efforts have increasingly focused on energy efficiency. In 2017, the organization completed a zero-net energy retrofit of Casas de La Vina in rural Madera County. The 56-unit, nearly 30-year-old farmworker housing project underwent major energy improvements, including the installation of solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, and new windows. This is the first-known zero-net energy farmworker housing project with rental assistance.
Last year, Self-Help Enterprises also broke ground on two new apartment rental communities in Tulare County – the 44-unit Sierra Village apartments in Dinuba and 50-unit Palm Terrace apartments in Lindsay. Both will be completed this year and will incorporate sustainable features, including solar PV, water conservation measures, and a vanpool program.
The two rental properties use low-income housing tax credits as well as a combined total of about $9.9 million in funding from the state Cap-and-Trade Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, which provides financing to projects that will reduce carbon emissions.
This year, Self-Help Enterprises is seeking financing for more than 300 new multifamily units in six projects. In addition, the organization plans to build nearly 85 new single-family homes. These projects span across the organization’s footprint and includes rental properties in Patterson (Stanislaus County) and Fresno (Fresno County) along with single-family homes in Winton (Merced County), Planada (Merced County), Goshen (Tulare County) and Bakersfield (Kern County).
For more information about Self-Help Enterprises, visit www.SelfHelpEnterprises.org.
Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. The pioneer and leading provider of mutual self-help housing in the United States, SHE’s efforts today encompass a range of efforts to build better homes and communities for farmworkers and other hard working families. Since 1965, SHE has helped more than 6,200 families build their own homes, provided homeownership education and first-time homebuyer assistance to over 9,100 families, rehabilitated over 6,400 unsafe homes, developed over 1,350 units of affordable rental housing and has provided technical assistance for reliable access to safe drinking water and sanitary sewer infrastructures to more than 160 small communities. SHE’s commitment to providing resources and training for individuals builds capacity of highly effective leaders in communities that also promote collaborative solutions for improving communities. These combined efforts have touched the lives of over 55,000 families, providing security and stability for families and building more productive communities.