Author: Commission News

March 31, 2022

California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and CA Legislative Women’s Caucus members build homes for local single mothers and low-income families

SACRAMENTO, California – On Thursday, March 31ˢᵗ, the California Commission on the Status of Women
and Girls hosted 40 female leaders from the Commission, including the California Women’s Caucus,
and state leadership on the Habitat for Humanity jobsite to officially conclude Habitat’s
month-long Women Build event, an event which brought together over 550 women from across the region
to help build critically needed affordable housing for single mothers and low-income families.
The special “Women Leaders Build” included a press conference on the CCSWG #CAWomenAreEssential
campaign. Members of the Women’s Caucus and State Treasurer Betty Yee worked alongside CCSWG
Commissioners and the future homeowners of Habitat’s Mandolin Estates development – a project which
will provide affordable homeownership to 60 low-income individuals, five of whom are single mothers
with children.

One of those single mothers is Kristy Gould. After escaping a physically abusive relationship, she
lived in a van for four months. Now, on her day off from her full-time job, she and her 17-year-old
son are working together to complete 500 hours of sweat equity building their future Habitat home
and community. When complete, she’ll purchase the home with a 30-year, 0% interest mortgage from
Habitat for Humanity.

“California women face significant barriers to economic security including a wage gap, and
opportunity gaps that mean that even pre-pandemic women were more likely than men to live in
poverty. These barriers, along with other forms of discrimination mean that the 50.3% of
California’s residents that are female are significantly less likely to be able to weather a
financial crisis like the one COVID-19 has caused,” said CCSWG Executive Director Holly Martinez.
“California’s ongoing affordable housing crisis is exacting an especially heavy toll on women and
particularly women color across the state during this pandemic. We must invest in women, half of
our state, as homeowners and neighborhood leaders and as the essential citizens that they are. By
ensuring that women are front and center in a fully equitable economic recovery, we ensure a more
prosperous California for all.”

Women, especially those who serve as head of their families and women of color, disproportionately
face obstacles that make accessing decent, affordable housing seem impossible. Stable, affordable
homeownership is transformative for low-income families. As the state entity tasked with assessing
gender equity in multiple issue areas including health, safety, employment, education, and others,
the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is uniquely positioned to ensure that
women’s needs are considered in statewide pandemic economic recovery efforts.

Our focus is ensuring that the needs of women are met in an intersectional and inclusive way and
that state drivers of recovery are educated on all the ways that #CAWomenAreEssential to a full
economic recovery.

“We are grateful to partner with the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, the
Women’s Caucus, and the many hundreds of women who joined us this month to provide a hand-up to
working single mothers and families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing,” said Habitat
for Humanity of Greater Sacramento President and CEO Leah Miller. “California women are essential,
and we are stronger when we build together. Affordable homeownership is the key to providing
strength, stability, and self-reliance to hardworking low-income families and individuals.”

About the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls works in a culturally inclusive manner
to promote equality and justice for all women and girls by advocating on their behalf with the
Governor, the Legislature and other public policymakers, and by educating the public in the areas
of economic equity including educational equity, access to health care including reproductive
choice, violence against women and other key issue areas identified by the Commission as
significantly affecting women and girls. Learn more at find us on all
social media as @CCSWG.

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento
Celebrating 36 years of building hope and homes in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, Habitat for
Humanity of Greater Sacramento builds and repairs homes for low-income families, seniors, and
veterans, revitalizes neighborhoods, and provides equity-building opportunities to underserved
communities. A 501(c)3 nonprofit and local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, last
year, Habitat Greater Sacramento served over 10,000 individuals through home builds, repairs, and
community projects. Those interested in supporting Habitat’s work can find more at or follow us on ,Twitter @SacHabitat,,or
Instagram @SacHabitat.

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California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Darcy Totten, (512) 577-3107

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento Laine Himmelmann, (916) 502-3248