February 2008

Media Contact: Chris Davis/Marjorie Wass, SurfMedia Communications, (805) 687-3322
Rochelle Rose, PSHH Fund Development Director, (805) 962-5152 x227
Annette Montoya, PSHH Corporate Communications Manager, (805) 781-3088 x

A Home in the Heart of Santa Barbara

Peoples' Self-Help Housing celebrates opening of Casas Las Granadas,
affordable apartments for downtown workers

Santa Barbara, CA, February 15, 2008--Michael Just is physically disabled. He uses a motorized wheelchair and works downtown Santa Barbara as a “Systems Change Advocate” for the Independent Living Resource Center. Michael had a Section 8 voucher, which was about to expire, so he was nearly facing homelessness. Thanks to Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) Michael will now live just six blocks away from his job, and will be able to motor to work every day in his wheelchair. Until Casas las Granadas became available, Michael had been unable to find wheel-chair accessible housing.

Two other new residents in the 12 affordable units include Karina Vera, a single mother with two school-aged children who works downtown at the Unity Shoppe, and Elizabeth Middleton who works at Farmer’s Market and plays the piano and organ part-time at downtown churches.

On Friday, February 29 at 11:00 a.m., Michael and other Casas las Granadas tenants, along with City and County officials and other invited guests, will take part in the Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting for the new apartments. Refreshments immediately following.

“Casas las Granadas demonstrates that affordable housing for low-income households on the Central Coast is not an elusive dream but a viable reality,” said Jeanette Duncan, Executive Director of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. “We cannot thank our donors, development and funding partners enough for their hard work, dedication and perseverance.”

Casas Las Granadas is comprised of 12 new, permanently affordable one-bedroom rental units set aside for “downtown workers”. The development especially benefits those tenants who do not have a car for their transportation needs. Of the 12 apartments, ranging from 485 to 575 square feet, 8 units are for households with incomes at 60% area median income and 4 units for those at 50%. At these two income levels, the rents range between $560 and $680.

Casas Las Granadas is conveniently located at 21 E. Anapamu, across from the Santa Barbara Public Library, adjacent to the County Courthouse, just one-half block from State Street and within walking distance to public transportation . Casas las Granadas was designed to complement the downtown streetscape by featuring Spanish-style architectural elements.

--Media Advisory-

Who: Jeanette Duncan, PSHH Executive Director, B. Ray Gateley PSHH Board Vice President, Reverend Donald Carey Th.D., PSHH Board Member, Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Karin Quimby District Representative for Congresswoman Lois Capps, City and County representatives, staff of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, funding and developments partners, and other invited guests

What: Grand Opening Celebration for Casas las Granadas,
12 new affordable apartments, downtown Santa Barbara
Three apartments will be open for tours after the Dedication

When: 11:00 -11:30 a.m., Friday, February 29, 2008

Where: Casas las Granadas, 21 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara (across from the Public Library))

Founded in 1970, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is an award winning non-profit organization that develops affordable housing and community facilities for low-income households and home ownership opportunities for working families. With over 1,000 homes completed and over 1,200 rental units owned and managed by Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, PSHH is the premiere affordable housing and community developer on the Central Coast, with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.