Two Generations of an Avenal Family Receive Successful Reconstructions

Two Generations of an Avenal Family Receive Successful Reconstructions

Posted on December 28, 2023

Sitting in their cozy living room embellished in festive Christmas decor, siblings Mary Garcia and Toribio Hernandez shared memories of their father’s final years in his Avenal home. Nearly a decade ago, their father, Aniseto Hernandez, had his home reconstructed through Self-Help Enterprises’ Housing Rehabilitation Program. 

This sparked the interest for Toribio Hernandez, Aniseto’s son, to apply to have his home repaired as well.  

Aniseto, who passed away in November 2023, got to enjoy his final years in a comfortable home, thanks to the assistance of Self-Help Enterprises. His daughter, Mary Garcia, recalls that she never stopped advocating for her dad, ultimately convincing him to go through with the housing rehabilitation application process.

“He was being rained on in his bed,” said Mary. “The roof was bad; the house was bad.” At the time, Aniseto was nearly 90 years old, according to Garcia. “The house was old, cold, he had to go up and down stairs… it was a really old house.” 

After seeing the success of Aniseto’s newly reconstructed home, this program seemed highly appealing to Toribio. At the time, Toribio was in a dual-income household as both he and his wife were working, which resulted in them being above the income limit to qualify for the Housing Rehabilitation program. 

Years later, Toribio’s situation took a turn after the passing of his wife, which was followed by financial disagreements among the family. He could no longer maintain the upkeep of his home, and the repairs began piling up, leading to plumbing issues and poor insulation, among other problems. 

For many homeowners, taking out a bank loan can be costly due to high-interest rates, and facing the costs of repairs is difficult for families tight on funds, as was the case for Toribio. 

“I always had to be crawling underneath there (the home) fixing one pipe or another,” said Toribio.    

Mary’s sisters noted there was a dire need for Toribio to repair his home. They recall his house was always cold, and Toribio dealt with a faulty plumbing system. 

Toribio applied and was approved to reconstruct his home. Funding was made available through a combination of HOME and CalHOME funds, both of which provide low-income homeowners the opportunity to obtain necessary safety repairs. 

Now that Toribio’s home was also recently reconstructed, he has the freedom to maintain his own schedule and live independently. 

“People have also said that he looks healthier,” said Mary.  

Mary took the initiative behind the scenes in both home reconstructions, handling the necessary paperwork. Despite the challenges they have come across, Mary’s persistence has paid off, as she is happy to see Toribio thriving independently in a safe and comfortable home. 

If you want to learn about Self-Help Enterprises’ Housing Rehabilitation Program, please call us at 559-651-1000 or visit us online.

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