It’s Like a Palace
Terry Newman & Sandy Garcia, TDHCA, 1/20/2011
Juan C. only wanted to provide a good home for his growing family. So, in 1991, he purchased a piece of land under a contract for deed sale in Mission Trail Estates Colonia in El Paso County for $13,500 at 10.5% interest. If the terms of the land sale were tough, colonia life proved to be even tougher. The family had no running water, gas and utilities until 2003. Soon Juan found himself a single parent of five children (four sons and one daughter) living in a small crowded two-bedroom mobile home. Juan wanted desperately to improve the living conditions for his children. He especially wanted his only daughter to have her own bedroom. However, losing his construction job and still owing $12,157 on the contract for deed on his property made improving his family’s life seem virtually impossible.
A glimmer of hope appeared when Juan heard about the Contract for Deed Conversion Program (CFDC) while requesting assistance from a local food pantry run by Adults and Youth United Development Association, Inc. (AYUDA). AYUDA is a grass roots nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services to colonia residents in El Paso County, including housing, health care education, computer courses, nutritional services, and English classes. TDHCA’s CFDC Program helps fund the conversion of contracts for deed into warranty deeds and help colonia households attain both ownership and property rights.
From the start, Juan was confident AYUDA and the CFDC program would help improve his family’s living conditions. His instincts were correct. After gathering all the required documentation and filling out an application, AYUDA was able to convert his contract for deed into a warranty deed and the sub-standard mobile home was replaced with a three bedroom, two bath stick-built home. The new home also benefited the community by replacing an old mobile home eyesore and increasing property values.
“It’s like a palace,” says Juan. “The children are very happy and doing well in school. Jasmine finally has her own room and the boy’s room is big enough for all of them. We’re all very happy and excited. We always had hope!”
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