Cobb, Calif. — Suzanne Koester, a Lake County resident who emigrated from Germany, is an avid gardener and proudly self-sufficient woman. She also is a survivor of the Valley Fire, which destroyed her home in Cobb in 2015. Since then, she has been living in a rental on the other side of the lake, waiting for the day she can break ground on her new house. Thanks to the CalHome Loan Program, that day has finally come.

Like so many survivors, Koester was underinsured at the time of the fire. The CalHome Loan Program, run by Hammers for Hope and administered by North Coast Opportunities (NCO), will bridge the gap between her insurance payout and the cost of rebuilding her home.

The CalHome Loan Program is funded through the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The program targets low- to moderate-income households who own or were renting a home destroyed by the 2015 Valley Fire or the 2016 Clayton Fire. It provides a 30-year loan with 0% interest and is significantly easier to qualify for than a traditional mortgage or loan.

Hammers for Hope was awarded the grant and selected NCO to be its program operator.