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March Newsletter - In This Issue
Two residents from our Parksdale Village II apartments - Francisca (pictured second from left) and Roxana (pictured fourth from left) - joined the Residents United Network (RUN), an organizing effort to empower low-income residents to participate in the political process through civic engagement. The residents attended the Housing California Lobby Day in Sacramento and shared their stories with six legislative representatives and their staffers to advocate for better housing policies. Board member Laura Higareda-Chapa (pictured third from left) also joined RUN participants for the Lobby Day.
We are hiring three Community Development Specialists in our Community Development Department, which helps rural, low-income communities in obtaining safe drinking water and sanitary disposal systems. The responsibilities include working with communities, water and sewer boards, and engineers to facilitate project planning and development.
We're also hiring a Construction Superintendent for the north service area (Fresno and north). The superintendent is responsible for the training and supervision of mutual self-help housing participants in the construction of their new homes.

Self-Help Enterprises offers great benefits including year-round, stable work; medical, dental, and vision insurance; 401K; paid holidays; and more.
The home buying season is in full effect. Here are four tips to help consumers make the best homeownership choice in 2018.

1. Strengthen your credit score before you look for a mortgage. Many people are confused about their credit score and how to strengthen it. Since looking for a home can take anywhere from one to three months on average, it could pay off to use the home shopping time to strengthen your credit score, especially if it means getting a lower mortgage rate.

2. Shop around for the best mortgage. Not every lender offers the same mortgage rate, so shopping around is essential. Failing to shop around for a mortgage could be expensive month after month, and really add up after several years. This is a nother reason to work closely with a  housing counselor from Self-Help Enterprises  throughout the mortgage process in order to navigate the complicated process.

3. Choose carefully. With a strong mortgage approval letter in hand at a great rate, it's time to find your home. Keep your list of must-haves front and center, but make sure that the items are must-haves and not nice-to-haves.

Currently, Self-Help Enterprises has two homes listed for sale. A newly constructed home in Corcoran, located at 2211 Bell Avenue, is listed for $175,000. The home features 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. 

A renovated 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home located at 1518 East Sunnyview Ave. in Visalia, is listed for $150,000. Renovations include new roof, stainless steel appliances, water heater, flooring, paint, and more. 

For more information, visit our website (scroll down to the "Homes for Sale" section) or contact Melissa Valdez at (559) 802-1621.

4. Negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate. If real estate is location, location, location, then home buying is negotiate, negotiate, and negotiate. Here's where picking the right real estate agent pays off. Whether it's the price - probably the most important item to negotiate - or if the seller will pay a portion of closing costs, or provide a home  warranty on major appliances, approaching the seller with a list of things you want is something everyone should do. Successful home purchases that work for both sides are made in the middle.
Following these tips and working with our homeownership coaches will help you successfully find your "home sweet home".
You may not know that Self-Help Enterprises is a member of the national NeighborWorks network, a congressionaly chartered nonprofit dedicated to creating places of opportunity across the country

Self-Help Enterprises is one of nearly 250 members of NeighborWorks America's network, receiving technical assistance; flexible grants; comprehensive, tailored training; and the opportunity to interact with and learn from fellow professionals from a variety of sectors.

NeighborWorks America exists today because 40 years ago, a coalition of residents, government officials, bankers and community members decided to experiment with a new way of making communities better places to live. Instead of housing projects, this coalition - the Federal Home Loan Bank, William Whiteside of the Coro Foundation, resident leader Dorothy Richardson and many others - envisioned better, more affordable homes in the places that people need them most. Since its Congressional chartering in 1978, it has expanded from around 50 organizations to nearly 250 nationwide. Yet, it has retained what makes it unique: a grassroots approach that allows every organization the flexibility to focus on the needs of its particular community. 

Over the past 40 years, NeighborWorks and its network have assisted close to 8 million people through affordable housing and counseling. NeighborWorks has also have expanded their programs to include more elements required by strong communities: financial coaching, job readiness and placement, healthy housing, and access to educational opportunities. 

Today, NeighborWorks America training programs for community development professionals are the best in the country, and it continues to adapt them as it learns more from the network about what is effective on the ground. 

The infographic below highlights opportunities created for families to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen communities since Self-Help Enterprises joined the NeighborWorks network in 2002. 
Self-Help Enterprises is excited to implement a new partnership with the Tule River Indian Housing Authority (TRIHA). The partnership is focused on developing high-quality affordable housing opportunities for members of the Tule River Tribe. Located approximately 20 miles from Porterville, the Tule River Indian Reservation is estimated to cover almost 85 square miles of rugged foothill lands of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The first project being developed through the partnership is an off-reservation site in the community of Porterville. The site consists of two parcels at the northeast corner of N. Shadowood Street and W. Mulberry Avenue. The project includes 40 affordable units, comprised of 15 single-family homes and 25 townhome units. All of the units will be rentals provided at an affordable rent for a period of 55 years, and the configuration includes three and four-bedroom units. The on-site community building will include expanded resident services, including tribal language courses, history lessons, an after-school program, financial literacy, homeownership preparation, and other activities focused on honoring the culture and history of the Tule River Tribe.

Self-Help Enterprises' goal is to assist the TRIHA in developing their capacity to develop tax credit rental projects and other affordable housing projects. The Mulberry project will be co-managed by the two organizations with progressive management opportunities for the TRIHA. Overall, this is a great opportunity to expand this new partnership to more effectively provide affordable housing opportunities to tribal members and the surrounding community of Porterville.
Above: Concept designs for single-family and townhomes. 
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8445 W. Elowin Court, Visalia, CA 93291
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  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.