Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) is a nonprofit housing and community development organization that improves the lives of low-income residents in the San Joaquin Valley through housing and related programs and services. SHE is the oldest and largest nonprofit self-help housing organization in the United States and has worked with more than 7,000 families in eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley, helping them realize the dream of homeownership.
- SHE provides technical services and support to help communities compete for scarce financial
resources and to empower people to become leaders.
- Community Development: Human resources and technical assistance are provided for small towns to help develop adequate water delivery and wastewater disposal systems by working with local residents to form special service districts, preparing funding applications, monitoring projects, and providing leadership training to new and existing community boards.
- Housing Rehabilitation: SHE preserves and improves the existing housing stock through emergency repairs that address immediate threats to owner’s health or safety, rehabilitation projects that focus on major renovations, and providing assistance to property owners to make their homes more energy-efficient.
- Multifamily Housing: SHE actively develops, preserves and operates affordable multifamily rental housing.
- Homebuyer Programs: SHE provides assistance to families wishing to become homeowners through traditional avenues.
- Self-Help Housing: Ten to twelve families form groups that work collectively to provide 70% of the labor required to build the homes. These efforts lead to the "sweat equity" that provides the down payment on each home.
- Foreclosure Counseling: foreclosure counselors help clients and provide them with accurate information.
- Homeownership Counseling and Education: in order to prepare families for the responsibility of homeownership.
- Investments by individuals, as well as institutions such as the Calvert
Foundation, provide the lending capital to SHE.
Self-Help Enterprises provides services to eight counties throughout the state of California. Seventy-percent of the communities served are rural and 30% are in minor urban areas (those with less than 100,000 people). Self-Help Enterprises is recognized nationally as a highly successful organization that has made the dream of homeownership a reality for low-income and minority families. In fact, all of SHEâ€™s clients live in households with an income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. In addition, 90% of SHEâ€™s borrowers are Latino, 5% are Asian/Pacific Islander, 2% are African-American, and 3% are Caucasian.
Since its inception, SHE has completed 5,703 new homes, rehabilitated 5,719 homes, weatherized 39,207 homes, and 25,037 sewer and water connections. The Community Development staff of SHE works with many rural, low-income communities to help resolve issues with the water and wastewater systems.
Two families, Aidor and Nangkeo Saesee and Olga Maldonado and her son Aaron, received USDA self-help loans to build their homes. They were recognized at the event that took place on the west steps of the state capitol in Sacramento, California on June 16th. Through the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, USDA provided technical assistance grants and SHE, in turn, acquired and developed land in rural areas and supervised these families as they constructed their own homes. Full Story