New Home before the Holidays
Today, Candie Gallardo, a passionate 27-year-old single mother, strolls around her nearly completed self-help home with pure admiration. “This is where I plan to put the TV and this is where the couch will go,” Candie points out with excitement. Before embarking on her homeownership journey, Candie had no construction experience but has learned a tremendous amount through this process. “Some things were not as difficult as I thought, like the wiring. If I ever wanted to swap the current light for a chandelier or change the style of light switches, I know I can easily do that in the future.”

She and her 5-year-old son currently live with her parents and siblings, part of a household of nine people living together in an overcrowded home. “My parents are a huge support system for me. They would rather live three families in one home instead of ever kicking anyone out. We are here for each other. Nevertheless, I made it my goal to get a place of my own. I want to give my son that space and privacy.” Read More.
SJV Energy Survey & In-Home Energy Audits
The Sustainable Energy Solutions team, together with PG&E, is conducting outreach to support residents in the completion of the SJV Energy Survey and In-Home Energy Audits. This outreach is part of a California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) data gathering effort to collect household data, assess energy use and cost, and evaluate household appliances from SJV residents that lack access to natural gas. This data will help the CPUC develop future energy cost savings programs for residents who are currently forced to pay the high price of propane. SHE’s outreach efforts have helped local residents to complete over 2000 surveys and 200 household energy audits.
Congressman Costa Visits Planada Housing Site
On November 13th, Congressman Jim Costa visited Planada's housing site which features 72 single family detached homes built through the mutual self-help housing program. The first two groups have begun building. The tour was led by SHE's CEO, Tom Collishaw, where the Congressman had an opportunity to engage with families, see the progress of their homes and listen to their excitement around being first time homeowners. Click here to see full gallery of photos.
Funding Available
Down Payment Assistance

To meet the needs of those seeking homeownership, SHE, in cooperation with Valley cities and counties, operates homebuyer assistance programs. The programs are designed to provide the additional financing needed to keep a first mortgage payment affordable to first-time homebuyers. Currently, funding is available in the following areas:

  • Avenal
  • Chowchilla
  • Corcoran
  • Dinuba
  • Exeter
  • Farmersville
  • Merced County
  • Tulare
  • Woodlake

All funds are first, come first serve! For more information please contact Melissa Looney at melissal@selfhelpenterprises.org.

Funding for Housing Rehab

SHE operates a rehabilitation program to preserve and improve the existing stock of affordable housing. Through partnerships with cities and counties in the San Joaquin Valley, SHE works with local community leaders to identify housing needs, secure funding, and successfully implement housing repair efforts for residents. Currently, funding for housing rehab is available in the following areas:

  • Chowchilla
  • County of Madera
  • County of Merced
  • Dinuba
  • Delano
  • Dinuba
  • Exeter
  • Farmersville
  • Fresno
  • Tulare
  • Woodlake

For more information please call (559) 651-1000.
Virtual Water Policy Center Conference
On November 17th, SHE's Community Development team participated in the Public Policy Institute of California’s (PPIC) Virtual Water Policy Center Conference. The PPIC Water Policy Center brought together 3 panels of experts across the State of California to discuss the possibilities of building a Water-Resilient California. This year’s discussion covered topics of urgent challenges that the State is facing from providing safe, affordable drinking water for all to the management of groundwater to support water users, the economy, and the environment. PPIC Water Policy Center continues to inform and work with various industries, agricultural sectors, nonprofit organizations to research the solutions to strive for a prosperous California for all.

CD Specialist, Angela Islas spoke about the groundwater sustainability plans addressing impacts of groundwater overdraft to rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley and what innovative solutions there are to include public participation to address these concerns. To view this year’s Water Policy Center conference, you may go to their blog post.