Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has been awarded a charter by the prestigious NeighborWorks America organization.

At a recent ceremony, more than 50 members of the public, staff and elected officials gathered at Peoples’ San Luis Obispo headquarters for the charter presentation.

Speaking at the event were Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing Executive Director Jeanette Duncan and NeighborWorks district manager Margaret Frisbee. Frisbee presented Peoples’ with a donation of $62,000 from Neighborworks America. Neighborworks membership will give the Peoples’ organization access to additional funding, technical training and financing.

Also in attendance at the event were San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Adam Hill and Paul Teixeira, Atascadero Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Kelley, Santa Maria City Councilman Mike Cordero, San Luis Obispo City Councilman Dan Carpenter and NeighborWorks’ Michael Gabriel.

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing now joins the 235-member NeighborWorks America organization, the country’s preeminent leader in affordable housing and community development. Only 17 organizations in California are chartered.

The organizations that comprise the NeighborWorks Network must meet stringent membership criteria and undergo rigorous reviews both before acceptance and every year thereafter to ensure they deliver the highest quality and most efficient services to low-income communities.

In 2009, NeighborWorks organizations generated $3.9 billion in public and private investments and helped more than 300,000 low- and moderate-income families purchase or improve their homes or secure safe, decent rental housing. It works with capital corporations to build partnerships, develop loan products, and support financing vehicles that further expand affordable housing opportunities nationwide.

NeighborWorks America is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against foreclosures. NeighborWorks and Peoples’ share similar missions: working to create opportunities for lower-income people to live in affordable homes in safe, sustainable neighborhoods that are healthy places for families to grow.

Founded in 1970, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has developed 1,150 self-help home ownership residences and more than 1,350 affordable rental units in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Click here for more information.

— Juliana Clifton represents Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.