February 2019

We've moved - after just six months, the demand for our services in Ventura has grown so much, we've had to find a larger office!  The new location provides better opportunities
 for us to serve the community as we work to bring more affordable housing to the region.
John Fowler

Given the scarcity of land, the cost of construction, and the price of labor, I am often asked "how is it we can build so affordably?" Well, the simple answer is we can't, and we don't.
Just like commercial developers, when we begin a project, we seek out and bid for land, we pay market rate for materials and we vie for a pool of much-sought after contractors. In fact, because we rely on a mix of public and private capital to fund our projects, along with those challenges, we face even more.

For example, when The Davis-Bacon Act comes into play, we pay federal prevailing wages and to score highly enough to secure low income housing tax credits (LIHTC), we must show "proximity" to certain amenities. That means a project site must be close to schools, near a bus route and recreational opportunities, and be in the vicinity of hospitals, grocery stores and public parks. Unfortunately, when a site has all of those desirable attributes, not only does it score highly for tax credits, it's usually similarly highly priced.

In addition to those proximity requirements, to secure public and LIHTC funding, our projects must include community rooms, play areas for children, be adaptively designed for seniors and the disabled, and be environmentally constructed often above and beyond building code requirements. While there is no question that many commercial developments are also well-designed, often set amid attractive landscaping, and conveniently located, they very rarely come with amenities such as professionally staffed learning centers, dedicated social workers, or accommodate ready access to an extensive network of community resources.

These site-based services are the reason why Peoples' Self-Help Housing communities have negligible eviction rates, experience virtually no crime, and since opening our after school programs can boast an almost 100% high school graduation rate for students in the program and zero teen pregnancy. This relieves pressure on public agencies like our police, hospitals and schools and enriches the community with a skilled workforce.

For nearly five decades, we have helped families flourish, provided welcoming environments for the disabled and the formerly homeless, and at communities like the soon to be constructed Sierra Madre Cottages, created spaces for seniors to age in place with dignity.
So, with all of these extra services and construction costs, how can we possibly describe our housing as 'affordable' to build and develop? Well, that adjective can only apply after a ribbon cutting when residents have been warmly welcomed into their new homes. When rent is determined by ability to pay, typically 30% of income, then a benefiting resident can call it affordable. 

A ffordable housing isn't affordable to build, it only becomes affordable once someone moves in.

John Fowler, CPA
PSHH Joins Ventura County Housing Trust Fund
PSHH President/CEO John Fowler was recently appointed to the Ventura County Housing Trust Fund Board of Directors. John will work with other board members to seek and obtain matching funds for continued development of affordable housing in the area. Read more
Empowering Residents Leaders
The McCune Foundation recently awarded $20,000 to support PSHH's Resident Leadership Program, a new program that encourages and guides residents in taking an active role in enacting positive change in their community.  Read more
Funding Bright Futures for Latinas
The College Enrollment for Latinas Entering Bright Rewarding Educations (CELEBRE), a recent extension of PSHH's existing College Club, was awarded $25,000 from The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County to focus on empowering Latina women and girls. Read more
Come Join Our Team!
We're hiring and we've got a place on the team for you! 

With openings in communications, education, property management, construction and in our finance department, check out   www.pshhc.org   and come join us!
Property Spotlights
Property Management

Home Ownership
Home Ownership Los Alamos
Sea Breeze Apartments
Celebrating 30 years
Rehabilitated by PSHH, this 29-unit development utilized an  innovative mix of financing to provide accessible units for physically challenged residents.

Oak Leaf Homes
Celebrating 6 years
This 34-home Nipomo neighborhood was supported by USDA Rural Development, Rural California Assistance Corporation and the SLO County Housing Trust Fund.
PSHH in the News ...
Local organizations assist furloughed federal employees 
PSHH and other organizations step up to help those impacted by the government shutdown.  
  Read more 
Government shutdown could affect affordable housing
PSHH President/CEO John Fowler speaks about the effects of the shutdown on affordable housing and related programs.  Watch the report
More affordable housing coming to Cambria
PSHH receives the green light to construct a 33-unit apartment complex in Cambria. Read more
...and in other Housing News
Central Coast
The 5 Most Affordable Cities in California
Ventura County receives high marks in ranking based on cost of living, quality of life plus key amenities  like transportation, housing, food and utilities.  Read more  

State sues city for not building enough affordable housing
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state is suing the city of Huntington Beach for not conforming to state law regarding affordable housing programs.  Read more 

Affordable housing set for spotlight of presidential campaigns
The issue is poised to become a more prominent issue in the 2020 presidential race, with several potential candidates releasing proposals on the topic in recent months.   Read more

San Luis Obispo Office 
3533 Empleo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 781-3088

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26 E. Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 962-5152