Letter to the Editor regarding May 16th Habitat for Humanity Article

Letter to the Editor

May 18, 2012
Santa Barbara News-Press

I read with interest the May 16, 2012 article regarding the City of Santa Barbara’s $515,000 allocation of federal funds to Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing. Heartfelt congratulations to Habitat for their 12-unit housing units that will be built at 822-824 East Canon Perdido Street!

Hannah Rael’s article however stated that “Habitat is the only organization in Santa Barbara that develops low-income ownership housing.” Just to clarify, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has been building low-income ownership ‘self-help’ homes in Santa Barbara County for 22 years. We have built 500 self-help homes in the communities of Santa Maria, Nipomo, Guadalupe, and Los Alamos. In addition, since 1970, we have helped over 600 low-income families build their first home in San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties and have developed 1,350 residential units in multi-family apartments.

We agree that there is not sufficient affordable housing for all those who need it in high-rent Santa Barbara. Safe and stable housing is the foundation of self-sufficient families and healthy communities. Most residents spend the majority of their income on housing, leaving little remaining money to pay for education, nutritious food, medical care, and other vital necessities. For low income households, the loss of a job or a medical crisis often forces families to live in unstable, substandard, transitional housing or become homeless. Homeownership also provides stability and improvement in children’s education, school grades, and graduation rates.

Thank you to all the agencies in our city and country who are working to open doors to home ownership and affordable housing, building attractive communities, and improving lives.

Rochelle Rose CFRE
Fund Development Director
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing