Councilmember McAustin Rolls up her Sleeves for Affordable Housing in Pasadena



Lindsey Lottie, Marketing & PR Manager
San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity
(626) 387-6899 x18



Councilmember McAustin Rolls up her Sleeves for Affordable Housing in Pasadena

AZUSA, CA (October 10, 2016) – Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, together with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat), is hosting a Women Build Day at the Desiderio site in Pasadena, CA on October 29, 2016. Ms. McAustin has invited women who are city leaders and influencers to work alongside her and the future homeowners as they build nine homes together.

A Women Build Day is a teamwork opportunity for women to roll up their sleeves, don a nail apron, learn construction skills, and create affordable houses alongside the future homeowners, lower income families. The women will not be confined to traditional roles but will be nailing and installing insulation and exterior siding.

The Desiderio development consists of nine craftsman-style bungalow homes which are under construction on land formerly used by the Desiderio Army Reserve Center.  In 2006-2007, City of Pasadena in its capacity as the Local Responsible Agency (LRA) to develop a Reuse Plan for the Army Reserve Center which was to close in 2010, heard proposals and hundreds of hours of public testimony before the Reuse Plan was approved for submission to the Army in 2007. Two women advocates for affordable housing, Councilmember McAustin and Sonja Yates, Executive Director of SGV Habitat, worked tirelessly to include an affordable housing component in the Reuse Plan. Now they are collaborating to invite women who are leaders in Pasadena to help build the affordable homes at the Desiderio site southeast of the Colorado Street Bridge.

A Planning Commissioner when they first met, Margaret heard Sonja advocating for affordable housing on the site. It was during this time that Margaret and Sonja began a relationship based on the mutual goal of creating quality affordable housing in Pasadena. 

Now, more than nine years later, Councilmember McAustin is convening a Women Build Day on October 29th. The event will spotlight both the need for affordable housing in Pasadena and a group of committed Pasadena women who will lead by example to advance completion and sale of the Desiderio Homes.  “Dedicated community volunteers are the heart of Habitat for Humanity’s worldwide success,” said Sonja Yates, “and these women are powerful examples right here in Pasadena. The group will not only create stable housing; their work will contribute to self-reliant families who are already forming another strong West Pasadena neighborhood. It’s a win-win for all!” 

By inviting fellow women who are business and civic leaders in Pasadena, Ms. McAustin is putting out the word that SGV Habitat for Humanity is going to continue the Desiderio Women Build effort. The next Women Build will be a three-day build, May 11-13, 2017. During these three days, SGV Habitat will educate, lead construction teams and fundraise to further the cause of affordable housing. Corporate sponsors, organizations, and individuals are welcome to participate. Women Build days are a unique opportunity for women to see the difference they can make in every aspect to change the lives of others.

Women Build efforts range from one-day builds to women constructing entire houses. Officially created by Habitat for Humanity International in 1998, over 2000 houses have been constructed by women. Women have been instrumental in building countless more homes thanks to their fundraising efforts.

Councilwoman McAustin and those who join her for the Women Build Days will put their hammers where their hearts are!

About San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity (SGV Habitat) began in 1990 under John “ACE” Cain’s visionary leadership as an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. To learn more, visit

San Gabriel Valley Habitat has been recognized with Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating for excellence in sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency for nine consecutive years (2008-2016), placing San Gabriel Valley Habitat in the top 1% of all nonprofit organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator. In 2016, San Gabriel Valley Habitat earned 100%, a perfect score! For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit our website Inquiries also can be made at or by calling (626) 387-6899. 400 S. Irwindale Avenue, Azusa, CA 91702 (626) 387-6899. 

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