Peoples’ Self-Help Housing to Honor Michael Towbes, Jeanette Duncan at New Jardin de las Rosas Development

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) is pleased to announce that when the new Jardin de las Rosas apartments are officially opened in downtown Santa Barbara on Thursday, December 7, two people who played critical roles in the organization’s history of serving local residents will be honored.

If anyone understood the meaning of community, it was Michael Towbes. Both an influencer and an investor, he knew that a safe home and a great neighborhood was the start of so many good beginnings. Towbes had connections to PSHH through numerous development projects, including Via la Esperanza and the Victoria Hotel, served on the Board of Directors for The Duncan Group, and supported the organization through The Towbes Foundation and Montecito Bank & Trust.

After his passing earlier this year, it was noted at his memorial that the only thing he enjoyed more than a ground breaking was a ribbon cutting. And so, it is in his honor and in the furthering of his legacy that PSHH will name and open the Michael Towbes Community Center.

For more than four decades, Jeanette Duncan not only helmed Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, but she was a leader for the entire affordable housing movement on the Central Coast and beyond.

Fearless and forthright, Jeanette Duncan built homes, families, character, and bright futures for the thousands of residents who benefitted from her vision. The Jeanette Duncan Learning Center is named in her honor and in recognition of her founding vision.

“We couldn’t think of two more deserving people to honor at our new Jardin de las Rosas complex than Jeanette and Michael,” said John Fowler, PSHH President & CEO. “Our organization wouldn’t be here today without Jeanette’s vision as a co-founder and executive director for 37 years at PSHH, and of course the late Michael Towbes will forever be synonymous with philanthropy and affordable housing here on the Central Coast. The new Jeanette Duncan Learning Center and the Michael Towbes Community Center will serve as constant reminders of the incredible generosity of these two champions of affordable housing.”

Jardin de las Rosas is a 40-unit affordable housing apartment complex located at 510 N. Salsipuedes St. in Santa Barbara. This development is in a priority housing overlay zone that was identified through the community input process. As a result, it was one of the first projects approved through the City’s pilot program under the new ordinance, and a key implementation action of the City’s General Plan.

First year financial support for the new learning center and educational programs at JDLR has been generously provided by the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara, the Williams-Corbett Family Foundation, Pacific Premier Bank, and First Republic Bank.

About PSHH

The mission of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) is to build homes and provide services to strengthen communities and change lives. Founded in 1970, PSHH is an award-winning, non-profit organization that develops affordable housing and community facilities for low-income households and homeownership opportunities for working families and special needs populations, such as seniors, veterans, those living with disabilities, and the formerly homeless. With nearly 1,200 self-help homes completed and over 1,700 rental units developed, PSHH is the largest affordable housing developer on the Central Coast, with offices in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. For more information on Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, visit, email or phone (805) 781-3088.

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