Grand Opening of Finca Serena in Porterville

Grand Opening of Finca Serena in Porterville

Posted on May 31, 2023

On Tuesday, May 30th, UPholdings and Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Finca Serena, a new supportive rental community located at 358 S. E Street in Porterville. The event was attended by several community leaders and finance partners who helped make the development possible. Event speakers included Tulare County Supervisor Dennis Townsend, Porterville Mayor Martha A. Flores, Finca Serena resident Jessica Fulton, community supporters, and project developers. Eric Coyne from State Senator Melissa Hurtado’s office also attended and presented a senate recognition. 

“Projects such as Finca Serena are critical toward making progress in providing the housing and services needed to address homelessness,” said Porterville Mayor Martha A. Flores during the ceremony. “These units represent a new chapter for the residents. For those exiting homelessness, this is a transformative change in their lives, as housing is more than just a place to live – it is stability, community, and it is also essential to public health.”

The 80-unit development first broke ground in October 2021 and is now open and leasing up quickly, further underscoring the need for permanent, affordable housing in Porterville and throughout Tulare County. Finca Serena offers 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units for mixed-income families, including units set aside for low-income families and individuals with disabilities and/or who were at risk of homelessness. 

“Thanks to Finca Serena, I get to bring my daughter home,” said Jessica Fulton, a mother who was struggling with homelessness before moving into Finca Serena. “I’ve been looking for a peaceful place to live for a long, long time…we all have. There are more people out there like me, and we do need more homes for them. I am just so thankful to everyone here, all of you, for this opportunity.” 

With a focus on wraparound support, the development provides a robust continuum of on-site services and 24-hour live-in support staff who provide access to job training, mental health services, and who work collaboratively with local agencies to ensure a healthy and safe community for both residents and surrounding neighbors. 

“Finca Serena furthers our commitment to the Porterville community with 80 new affordable housing units,” said Tom Collishaw, President and CEO of Self-Help Enterprises. “We’re excited to welcome all of the new residents at Finca Serena, including those who have experienced significant challenges in finding a stable home. We look forward to our continued partnership with UPholdings to create high-quality, affordable housing for those who need it most.” 

Located near Downtown Porterville, property amenities include a large community room where the ceremony was held, a courtyard, laundry facilities, a computer room, and proximity to local trails. 

“The name Finca Serena translates from Spanish to ‘Serene Estate,’ and that was our intention with this property – to develop a safe and serene environment for vulnerable individuals and families here in Tulare County,” said Jessica Hoff Berzac, Co-Founder and Principal of UPholdings. “After breaking ground here in 2021, it is an absolute joy to be here again in this beautiful, completed space with our doors open, welcoming residents and celebrating with our community partners who have been committed to this project for years. It feels good to mark this milestone, but the work and the commitment to our residents will continue well beyond today. At UPholdings, we create, operate, and sustain our housing for the long haul, and we are dedicated to being supportive neighbors in every community where we build.”

UPholdings and Self-Help Enterprises are co-developers and property owners, and Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency (HHSA) is the lead service provider and contributed project-based subsidies along with Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance (KTHA). R.L. Davidson, Inc. was the project architect, BJ Perch Construction was the general contractor, Gateway Engineering, Inc. was the project engineer, and UPA, LLC + GSF Properties serve as the property manager & compliance agent. Community finance partners and local supporters include California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, California Department of Housing and Community Development (No Place Like Home and HOME programs), California Municipal Finance Authority, Enterprise Community Partners, KeyBank, and the City of Porterville. 

Learn more about Finca Serena

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