Affordable Housing Finance: California Nonprofit Shows Its Strength

Affordable Housing Finance: California Nonprofit Shows Its Strength
April 10, 2018 Peter

In 2017, the nonprofit had a busy year, starting construction on nine developments with 156 affordable homes. The 53-year-old nonprofit focuses its work in eight counties—Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus, and Tulare. “We’ve stuck to our knitting and still serve a specific footprint that we know well and that we’re known well in,” says Tom Collishaw, president and CEO. With much of the organization’s work in the agriculturally rich Central Valley, about 75% of Self-Help Enterprises’ new construction developments are occupied by farmworker families.  In a show of the organization’s increasing emphasis on energy efficiency, the nonprofit recently completed a zero-net energy retrofit of an approximately 30-year-old farmworker housing project that was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sec. 514 program. Located in a remote region of Madera County, the 56-unit Casas de la Vina underwent major energy improvements, including the installation of solar panels, low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting, and new windows. “All the improvements make it truly net-zero energy,” Collishaw says. “To our knowledge, it is the first time that anybody has done that with an older farmworker housing project with rental assistance.” The organization also broke ground on two new rental communities last year—the 44-unit Sierra Village in Dinuba and the 50-unit Palm Terrace in Lindsay. Both will be completed this year.

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