“The help we re­ceived was a true god­send.”

The Arizona Republic - - Valley & State - Ali­cia Perez Tolle­son home­owner Have a prob­lem with a land­lord? Strug­gling with a mort­gage com­pany? Fill out our on­line form, text HereToHelp AZ to 51555 or reach our Call For Ac­tion team at 602-444-2255 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tues­day through Fri­day. Re

The hous­ing coun­selors can then sched­ule an ap­point­ment to sit down and as­sess the res­i­dent’s con­cerns, iden­tify fi­nan­cial hard­ship and con­nect them with the right re­sources.

As one of the seven HUD-cer­ti­fied hous­ing agen­cies con­tracted to pro­vide Save Our Home AZ coun­sel­ing in Mari­copa County, ARC coun­selors can help the home­owner ap­ply for those funds. The ap­pli­ca­tion re­view process is usu­ally about two to three months.

If they are ap­proved for Save Our Home AZ, Huerta-Galarza said fore­clo­sure would stop, the ac­count would be brought cur­rent and the home­owner would be qual­i­fied for var­i­ous forms of as­sis­tance up to $100,000.

“Even if they don’t qual­ify for Save Our Home AZ, we have other ways that we as­sist home­own­ers in need,” Huerta-Galarza said. “We still pro­vide free hous­ing coun­sel­ing to tell peo­ple what their op­tions might be and we have been do­ing that for so long that we know all of the re­sources here.”

Help for po­ten­tial home­own­ers

Chandler said that in ad­di­tion to fi­nan­cial hard­ship, the de­sire to get into the hous­ing mar­ket is an­other rea­son to get con­nected with ARC.

“Peo­ple can come in and say, ‘I want to buy a house,’ and we can take them through that whole process and they can walk out with a cer­tifi­cate that says I am pre­qual­i­fied and ready to buy a house,” Chandler said.

Chandler said pro­vid­ing Ari­zona res­i­dents with the re­sources to have and main­tain af­ford­able hous­ing will con­tinue to be ARC’s mis­sion.

“Af­ford­able hous­ing is the root of suc­cess­ful liv­ing and is a ma­jor com­po­nent of cre­at­ing se­cu­rity and wealth,” she said. “Our fu­ture in Ari­zona is through cre­at­ing re­spon­si­ble home­own­ers and teach­ing peo­ple how to use coun­sel­ing agen­cies as a tool.”

Mov­ing for­ward

For Perez, the mort­gage as­sis­tance through ARC and Save Our Home AZ al­lows her the free­dom to start look­ing to­ward the fu­ture.

She said she has plans to fin­ish her GED and con­tinue her ed­u­ca­tion for a de­gree in busi­ness man­age­ment.

“My hus­band and I al­ways talked about start­ing our own busi­ness and that is still some­thing that I still have plans to do,” she said.

In terms of be­ing able to stay in her home, which she calls her man­sion, Perez said it means more than she could de­scribe.

“God puts peo­ple in our path for a rea­son,” Perez said, with tears in her eyes.

“I don’t know what I would have done with­out ARC and it all started with that one phone call.”

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