Mutual Housing California: Transforming Lives and Building Community
Cool Davis welcomes Mutual Housing California, through its local affiliate Mutual Housing Yolo, as its latest coalition partner. For more than 25 years, the nonprofit organization, which provides housing for low wage workers and their families, has been “bridging the green divide” by bringing solar power and more to residents of its multi-family communities in Davis, Woodland and Sacramento.
Energy Efficient Housing
For example, tracking software at its New Harmony Mutual Housing Community in Davis showed that its photo-voltaic system generated 439,028 kilowatt-hours between 2013, when it was installed, and mid-2015. It saved the equivalent of 32,336 barrels of oil to produce this much electricity. Annually, Mutual Housing California’s solar panels on its five housing communities in Davis produce a total of 675,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, helping the environment, the residents, and the nonprofit.
In 2015, the organization opened Mutual Housing at Spring Lake, its first development dedicated to providing homes for local farm workers. Located in Woodland, Mutual Housing at Spring Lake is the first certified zero-net energy ready rental housing in the nation. It was designed so that residents could forgo energy bills and pay PG&E just a monthly $5 monthly administrative fee.
All of Mutual Housing’s newest communities incorporate high-performance insulation systems for enhanced quiet and comfort, fresh air systems for healthier indoor air, high-efficiency appliances, and advanced lighting technology and innovative heating and cooling systems for energy and water savings.
Also, all properties are operated by Mutual Housing’s own management teams that keep the green theme going with green cleaning products, while the organization pursues on-going efforts to retrofit their older buildings with updated systems similar to those in their newest communities.
As Anne-Marie Flynn, Director of Resource Development, states, “Greening our communities is good business – saving our residents and our organization money in the long-run.”
Safe, affordable housing for the most vulnerable
But there is much more to Mutual Housing: Anne-Marie Flynn explains, “While its environment efforts are important, Mutual Housing’s critical work is to provide safe, affordable homes for the most vulnerable in our communities, including families with modest budgets, the elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals and their families.”
Once residents are housed, the staff at every one of its communities works to get to know all residents personally. Through leadership programs, the staff helps residents to find their strengths, get to know each other, and become contributing members of the community.
As Anne-Marie explains, “When problems arise, staff know everyone and can help find solutions.
Residents in our Mutual Housing communities feel safe and come to appreciate living in strong, peaceful communities.”
It is not surprising that Mutual Housing California has received grants, awards, and accolades locally and across the country for its work. Cool Davis is pleased to have the organization become a partner and member of the Cool Davis coalition.
Cool Davis is a coalition of citizens, the City of Davis, and community organizations working to empower our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.