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Providing Accessibility and Safety in Corcoran






Providing Accessibility and Safety in Corcoran



Posted on December 17, 2018


 

ADA ramp wheelchair access

Susan Morgan spent many years working as a Social Worker in the Central Valley. Now retired, Susan struggles with health issues that have left her permanently disabled and in a wheelchair. Unfortunately, for the past several years, Susan has dealt with inadequate living conditions (such as leaking roofs, outdated electrical) and a space that was simply not built for a someone in a wheelchair. Moving around the house was almost impossible— so impossible, in fact, that in the past, Susan has gone months straight without ever stepping foot outside.

But relocating has never been an option, “My parents built this home back in 1954, right before I started kindergarten,” Susan shared. “This is the only home I ever knew.” For obvious reasons, this home meant a lot to Susan.

She first learned about Self-Help Enterprises through a friend that had previously worked with SHE’s Rehabilitation Program to improve her home. Upon initial assessment, James Clark, Rehabilitation Specialist at Self-Help Enterprises, determined that Susan’s house was in dire need of improvements. “Her home was so unsafe and unhealthy and impossible for her to get around and out of the house,” said James. “She had to get out of her wheelchair to go into the bathroom.”

Corcoran is home to just under 22,000 people, with median household incomes of about $36,000, (24% less than Kings County’s household median income). The median year built for homes in Corcoran is 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.

Susan, now in her late 60’s and with her disability, was particularly vulnerable to these hazards. After months of work (and living in a temporary home during housing rehabilitation), Susan moved back into her home on November 15. Through SHE’s Rehabilitation Program, Susan’s home was fully renovated to include an ADA wheelchair accessible entrance ramp, new roof, new windows, new electrical, new gas lines, new flooring, new kitchen, and a new ADA accessible restroom (among other improvements).

rehab project corcoran

“If it hadn’t been for Self-Help Enterprises, I would have had to walk away from my house,” said Susan. “We had rain last week, and I did not have to worry about getting buckets out to catch the water.”

Self-Help Enterprises operates a rehabilitation program to preserve and improve this existing stock of housing. Through partnerships with cities and counties in the San Joaquin Valley, Self-Help Enterprises works with local community leaders to identify housing needs, secure funding, and successfully implement housing repair efforts for residents.

Deferred payment loans available to qualified homeowners for essential health and safety repairs typically include roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling, foundation, windows, and handicap accessible modifications. There is no monthly payment and 0% interest. The loan is due and payable upon sale, change of title or change of use – such as change from owner occupied to renter occupied. Housing rehabilitation assistance can meet a critical need for homeowners who lack the funds to make necessary health and safety improvements to their homes. The loan is due and payable in 30 years, upon sale, change of title or change of use – such as change from owner occupied to renter occupied.  To date, Self-Help Enterprises’ assistance to local communities has resulted in over 6,000 rehabilitated homes.

“Before it was a big worry for me, what if something were to happen?  How would I get up and out of the house? What if the house caught on fire? I do not have to worry about that anymore, I am safe and comfortable,” said Susan.

For more information about this program, please visit our rehabilitation programs page.