Cabrera Family Benefits from SHE’s Rehab Program in Madera County

Cabrera Family Benefits from SHE’s Rehab Program in Madera County

Posted on January 29, 2019

Faustina and Estanislou Cabrera, now in their late 80’s, lived in their Madera mobile home for over 35 years. Together, they have 7 children and 17 grandchildren that for the longest time were unable to come visit due to the hazardous conditions of their home. The Cabrera family first reached out to Self-Help Enterprises when seeking help to drill a new water well during the drought. Upon detailed assessment of their home, it was clear that they were in dire need of a home replacement.  “We had to always watch our step to make sure we didn’t fall through the floor,” said Faustina. “Slowly, things started to break, and it got to the point where it was just too much and too expensive for us to try to fix.” Faustina has a heart condition that causes her to be more sensitive to extreme weather.

Last Summer, Madera County was awarded a $1 million Community Development Block Grant to continue to help qualified families with essential home repairs. Madera County contracts with Self-Help Enterprises to administer their Housing Rehabilitation Program (Program) which is designed to provide assistance to eligible homeowners for correction of health and safety items, as well as code violations.  The Program provides this assistance in the form of 0% interest deferred payment loans used to finance the cost of necessary repairs that will provide the homeowner with a healthy, safe, sanitary, and code compliant home.  Self-Help Enterprises screens and secures families that are eligible to participate in the program.

Through this Program, SHE was able to tear down the Cabrera’s old dilapidated mobile home and build a brand new 4 bedroom, 2 bath ‘stick-built’ home. “We didn’t need luxury; we just wanted comfort and tranquility,” said Faustina. “Thanks to Self-Help Enterprises, we now have that.”

Madera County is home to over 156,800 people, with median household incomes of about $45,700. Many homes in this area were built before 1975. This means that no matter how well built, older homes built before 1978 are likely to contain environmental hazards, like lead and asbestos. Because these elements are known to cause certain types of cancers, it is important to treat them with extreme caution when handling and/or removing them. In addition to providing essential home repairs, this Program ensures that existing housing remains affordable.

“This Program is essential to maintaining the affordable housing stock, because it allows us to preserve existing housing, which is less expensive than building new housing,” said Susan Long, Director of Partner Services at Self-Help Enterprises. “It also allows families to stay in the homes they have built their families and memories in. The partnership between SHE and County of Madera is vital to preserving aging housing stock, while ensuring families have safe, affordable housing.”

“Since the early 1980s, the County of Madera has been receiving grants to run the housing rehabilitation loan program,” said Robert Mansfield, Senior Planner for Madera County. “This essential program allows for assistance to those who qualify to get help in making needed repairs to their homes so that they are maintained in a safe and healthy manner. The County has contracted with Self Help Enterprises over the years to assist in this process, as their resources are a great asset to the program.”


Common home repairs include roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling, insulation, foundation, windows, and handicap accessible modifications. Families wanting to participate in the program must first contact Self-Help Enterprises at (559) 651-1000, complete the intake process, and provide required documentation to determine eligibility.

Click here to access SHE’s Rehab Program flyer for Madera County.


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