“I had so much fear for so many years, and now I feel blessed and full of joy.” says Graciela Avila Rodriguez as she opens the door to her brand new 2-story Avondale home. After years as a single mother of 2 daughters and holding down multiple jobs, Graciela is over the moon with joy to own her first home at the age of 61 years old.  Ms. Rodriguez feels fortunate to have qualified for a very specific down payment assistance program, provided by the City of Avondale. She is the proud homeowner of 1 of the 4 properties, which were developed to assist hardworking families in the area by the (NSP) Neighborhood Stabilization Program.  She also received down payment assistance through the HOME Program, which made her loan more affordable. Trellis serves as the Administrator of these funds for the City of Avondale First Time Homebuyer Program and is proud to have facilitated the mortgage loan, provided the Home Buyer Education course, and assisted the client in completing her eligibility assessment with her Trellis Advisor, Maribell Valdez.

This miraculous transaction, which only took two months, was truly a collaborative effort with many capable players involved. First, Ms. Rodriguez’ eldest daughter, Erika, who works at CPLC (Chicanos Por La Causa) recommended her mother speak to a counselor there. Edward Rydlund at CPLC then referred Ms. Rodriguez to Trellis in order to initiate the process. Pete Nunez, Loan Officer at Trellis, then worked closely with Matthew Hess, Neighborhood & Family Services Director at the City of Avondale offices to gather all the documents and orchestrate the steps involved.

Pete describes his client as “resilient, humble and hardworking”. Graciela’s daughters, Erika and Tania are all smiles as they finally see their mother settled in a home she can call her own. Erika remembers her mother’s difficult divorce, and having 24 hours to vacate the house where they resided. After years of renting, or living with family members, and working several jobs, her mother went from paying rent of $850 to $900 to paying less for her own private home. As all the memories of worry, struggle, and toil come flooding back, Ms. Rodriguez becomes emotional and softly says “Now, I’m glad my ex-husband didn’t put my name on the house we lived in when the girls were babies. My credit was non-existent and at 61 years old, I created my credit myself, beginning with a $300 secured credit line from Wells Fargo. The day I got the house key, I cried with emotion. . . Can it be true?”

Resilient? Yes. She still works the evening shift at a retail department store in the stock room from 3:00pm to 1:00am. Her eldest daughter explains, “She was so nervous, after so many life disappointments. It took several conversations to convince her. Mom, just do it. Never look back.”

Sometimes looking back is where the deepest strength is found. Trellis wholeheartedly congratulates Graciela Avila Rodriguez.

Graciela Avila Rodriguez, a smiling new homeowner.

LR: Erika, Graciela and Tania – All smiles.