PSHH Founding Executive Director Jeanette Duncan Receives National Recognition from NeighborWorks America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Central Coast CA, May 5, 2022 – People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)’s Founding Executive Director, Jeanette Duncan, has been selected as one of the inaugural recipients of the Founder’s Award from congressionally-chartered housing organization NeighborWorks America.

The NeighborWorks Founders Award was established to recognize ‘Champions of Change’ and for their lifetime contributions to housing and community development. The award placed particular focus on equity, inclusion, integrity, and service. In this its first year, Duncan was selected as one of two recipients for this prestigious national honor.

Jeanette Duncan was a founder of People’s Self-Help Housing and became the Executive Director in 1977. Under Duncan’s leadership, PSHH built over 1,100 owner-builder, single-family homes and developed more than 1,400 rental units for seniors, farmworkers, families and those living with disabilities in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. As a recognized expert in the field, she was also asked to serve on numerous local, state, and national housing committees, organizational boards and was an advisor to many other housing organizations throughout the country.

Under Duncan’s visionary leadership, People’s Self-Help Housing grew to become a regional and national leader in affordable housing development, as well as one of the most respected and trusted names among nonprofit organizations. At both People’s Self-Help Housing and in the NeighborWorks network, Duncan has a reputation as a mentor and leader. “Her legacy continues to be an inspiration, a north-star directive in advancing equity and opportunity.” said Ken Trigueiro, current CEO & President.

Dr. Dieter Eckert, a longtime PSHH Board Member says ‘support’ was at the core of Duncan’s work. “The fire and passion to do more was stoked, and Jeanette saw to it that all our neighborhoods either included or had access to community centers with social and medical services, as well as specialized financial training, education, and even childcare,” said Eckert.

In assessing lessons learned from her more than 45 years in housing development, Duncan says, “You have to be willing to travel and learn how government works, how policy is developed. You have to go to places where other people in the world are doing nonprofit housing. And you have to mentor people, whether they work for you or not.”

To learn more about People’s Self-Help Housing visit


About NeighborWorks America

As a congressionally chartered and funded nonpartisan nonprofit, NeighborWorks America supports organizations across the country that provide communities with affordable housing, financial counseling and coaching, training, and resident engagement and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. PSHH joined the NeighborWorks network in 2011 and maintains the highest level of an ‘Exemplary’ rating, which is assessed through key criteria including: programs & services, financial management, and organizational management and board governance.


About People’s Self-Help Housing (PSHH)

With nearly 1,000 units of new housing in its pipeline and founded in 1970, PSHH is the longest-serving nonprofit affordable housing organization on the Central Coast. Our mission of building homes and providing services to strengthen communities and change lives, sees us serving low-income households, families, farmworkers, seniors, and veterans. We also provide welcoming environments for those living with disabilities, youth transitioning out of foster care, and the formerly homeless. Homeownership opportunities through a self-help, “sweat-equity” program have created over 1,200 homes and with a presence in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Monterey counties, PSHH manages over 2,000 rental units, and employs over 200 members of staff. PSHH acknowledges the indigenous people of the territories that our organization occupies, including the Chumash, Salinan, Yokuts, Kitanemuk, and Tataviam people. To read the full land acknowledgement, visit For more information about the organization, visit, email or phone (805) 781-3088.


Media Contact:, (805) 878-8328

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