Sacramento Non-Profit Project Manager Wins Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Award for ZNE Work

Sacramento-based nonprofit, Mutual Housing California, project manager Vanessa Guerra recently received a Latina “Rising Star” award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for her work on the Department of Energy’s first zero-energy ready home for a rental development certified in the nation.

Sacramento-based nonprofit, Mutual Housing California, project manager Vanessa Guerra recently received a Latina “Rising Star” award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for her work on the Department of Energy’s first zero-energy ready home for a rental development certified in the nation.

Working with Mutual Housing for the past eight years, Guerra has developed sustainable affordable housing across Sacramento and Yolo counties for the nonprofit. During that time, she has been instrumental in identifying innovative building measures that became standard practice for the nonprofit’s developments. Because of Guerra’s work, Mutual Housing has become a national leader in healthy, green homes for low-income families.

“Vanessa is a key member of our staff,” said Rachel Iskow, Mutual Housing California chief executive officer. “She is an expert in sustainable building practices and sees that what we build is as green as it can be.”

Guerra’s most recent work focused on the development of the 62-apartment and townhome Mutual Housing at Spring Lake in Woodland, Calif., built for agriculture workers and their families.

With a B.Sc. in Engineering Construction Management, Guerra currently is overseeing the rehabilitation of Mutual Housing at Foothill Farms in north Sacramento.

Photovoltaic panels were added to the 98 apartments in an earlier rehab; the current work adds ductless, heat pump, mini-split systems to cool and heat the interiors as well as other energy-saving features.

Guerra also serves on the board of the California Coalition for Rural Housing, an organization that advocates for rural housing throughout the state.

The Sacramento-based chamber also honored three other women in their Latina Estrella awards:

  • Dorene Dominguez, Legacy—Chairman of the Vanir Group of Companies, Dominguez also is a minority stake holder in the Sacramento Kings basketball franchise. 
  • Rachel Rios, Champion—Rios is executive director of La Familia Counseling Center in Sacramento.
  • Dr. Maria Armstrong, Inspiration—Armstrong is superintendent of Woodland Joint Unified School District.

A member of NeighborWorks America—a congressionally chartered nonprofit that supports community development nationwide—Mutual Housing has more than 3,000 residents, nearly half of whom are children.

Through its focus on leadership, the nonprofit provides training and mentoring as well as educational programs, community-building activities and services for residents and neighbors. 

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