From left, PSHH Board member Ray Gateley, Senior Field Representative for State Assemblyman Das Williams Hillary Blackerby, District Representative for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson Liora Goodman, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps, Mayor of Carpinteria Gregg Carty, PSHH President/CEO John Fowler, PSHH Board member Rev. Charles Stacy and PSHH Board President David Gustafson. (PSHH photo)

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing cut the ribbon on its 45th affordable project, Casas de las Flores, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, during a ceremony celebrating completion of the long-awaited, 43-unit complex at 4096 Via Real.

Over 130 supporters, staff members and residents attended the grand opening of Casas de las Flores, which was built on the former site of the Carpinteria Camper Park.

PSHH purchased the extremely blighted park from an absentee landlord 12 years ago and successfully absorbed 80 households, who lived there in very poor conditions, into PSHH properties and other housing elsewhere.

After years of preparation, PSHH broke ground on the project in April 2014.

Speakers at the grand opening included a resident who lived at the Carpinteria Camper Park for over 20 years who now lives happily at nearby PSHH housing. A resident family also shared about how much PSHH’s after school youth education program has helped their two daughters succeed in school and finish their homework every day. Father Richard Martini from St. Joseph’s Church performed a blessing during Thursday’s ceremony.

PSHH held a lottery drawing earlier this year as part of its resident selection process for the all-new development. There were more applications for the housing than apartments available. 

In addition to 43 beautiful apartments, Casas de las Flores includes a community building which includes the Ridley-Tree Community Kitchen, community room, offices, clinic space and youth education and computer room.

The grounds also has a tot lot playground, half basketball court, walking paths and new laundry facilities.

Major donors pulled together to collectively contribute $400,000 to the project, including Weingart Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Looker Foundation, Outhwaite Foundation, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Michael and Jennifer Payne, All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Montecito Covenant Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Alan and Carol Koch, Robert Andrew Fowler Landscape Architect and Ted and Julie Chandler.

Many others contributed by adopting the doors to these beautiful new homes, including Union Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Michael and Jennifer Payne and many others.

For more information about Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, visit

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.