At first home dedication of 2020, SMUD announces historic partnership to help 50 more families in 2020

At first home dedication of 2020, SMUD announces historic partnership to help 50 more families in 2020

This Saturday at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento’s first home dedication of the year, Aynalem Maru and her family of five received the keys to their dream home . During the celebration, SMUD announced a new and unprecedented $1.1 million partnership for 2020 with Habitat that will help build and preserve homes for 50 more families in need.

“Our goal is to enhance the communities in which we live, and we focus our resources in areas most in need,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “We have worked with Habitat for Humanity for many years, providing energy upgrades and volunteers to build homes, however with the current housing crisis in California, we felt the need to expand our partnership and help hard-working families with long-term, secure housing. We are honored to work with Habitat for Humanity to do that.”

These 50 home build and preservation projects will be energy efficient, and include solar panels, EV charging, electric appliances, weatherization and more to ensure that energy costs are minimized for the homeowners.

“We’re proud to support healthy, vibrant and economically sustainable neighborhoods for all of our customers with a special eye to improving equity in our region through our SMUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative,” said SMUD Director Jose Bodipo-Memba.”

“Too often disadvantaged communities are left behind and left out of access to amenities and awareness of cost effective energy efficiency opportunities,” said Habitat Greater Sacramento President and CEO, Leah Miller. “We couldn’t be more proud or excited to be working with SMUD and the Sustainable Communities team to put this partnership into action to make homes more efficient, affordable, and sustainable for low-income residents and neighborhoods throughout our community.”

When Aynalem first applied to the Habitat program, she and her husband were collectively working four jobs and paying for an expensive, cramped two-bedroom apartment.

With the help of volunteers, Aynalem and her husband spent 500 hours building their home and now have a 30-year, 0 percent interest mortgage.

Aynalem says the most excited member of the family is her 17-year old, a straight A student, who has struggled to have privacy to study and keep her grades up in their cramped apartment. Until now, it was all they could afford.

New homeowners, the Maru-Megersa family, at their home dedication event on Saturday, February 29th. (Photo Credit: Bill Santos)


SMUD’s $1.1 million partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento will support 31 roof/solar and energy-efficient repairs for low-income homeowners, seniors, and veterans in 2020.  It will also support the cost of going all electric, adding EV wiring, and solar panel costs for 19 new home and home rehab projects in 2020 for low-income families in Habitat’s homeownership program.


To learn more about our new partnership with SMUD or how you or your organization can help partner with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, contact Development Director Laine Himmelmann at or (916) 440-1215 x1108.


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