For Immediate Release: February 29, 2020

SMUD partners with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento at first home dedication of 2020 and announces key partnership

Family receives keys to dream home as SMUD announces partnership to help more families

Today, Aynalem Maru and her family of five received the keys to their dream home with the help of Habitat for Humanity, sponsors, volunteers and more than 500 hours of their own sweat equity. During the celebration, SMUD announced a new $1.1 million partnership that will help build and preserve homes for 50 more families in need.

“Our goal is to enhance the communities in which we live, and we focus our resources in areas most in need,” said SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard. “We have worked with Habitat for Humanity for many years, providing energy upgrades and volunteers to build homes, however with the current housing crisis in California, we felt the need to expand our partnership and help hard-working families with long-term, secure housing. We are honored to work with Habitat for Humanity to do that.”

These 50 home build and preservation projects will be energy efficient, and include solar panels, EV charging, electric appliances, weatherization and more to ensure that energy costs are minimized for the homeowners. “We’re proud to support healthy, vibrant and economically sustainable neighborhoods for all of our customers with a special eye to improving equity in our region through our Sustainable Communities initiative,” said SMUD Director Jose Bodipo-Memba.”

“This day couldn’t get any better,” said Habitat Greater Sacramento President and CEO, Leah Miller. “These home dedications mean so much to us and we’re so excited that with SMUD’s help, we can provide even more hardworking, low-income families in need with safe, decent and affordable shelter.”

When Aynalem first applied to the Habitat program, she and her husband were collectively working four jobs and paying for an expensive, cramped two-bedroom apartment.With the help of volunteers, Aynalem and her husband spent 500 hours building their home and now have a 30-year, zero percent interest mortgage.

Aynalem says the most excited member of the family is her 17-year-old, a straight-A student, who has struggled to have privacy to study and keep her grades up in their cramped apartment. Until now, it was all they could afford.

About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento
Celebrating nearly 35 years of building hope and homes in Sacramento and Yolo County, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento builds and repairs homes in partnership with the local community. Habitat Greater Sacramento, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit and local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, has built over 150 new homes for low-income families in Sacramento and Yolo County and provided over 60 repairs to senior, veteran, and low-income homeowners. Those interested in supporting Habitat’s work can find more information at or can follow Habitat on Facebook at, Twitter: @SacHabitat, and Instagram: @SacHabitat.

About SMUD
As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, about SMUD, visit