PALMDALE – New homebuyers Salvador and Natasha Almanza were symbolically handed the keys to their new home, recently, by Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.
“Words can’t even explain it,” Natasha Almanza said Thursday. “It was just so surreal, like wow, we’re actually going to have this home for our kids.”
The Almanza family purchased the first of the City of Palmdale’s 14 rehabilitated Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) homes, which were put on sale recently through the City’s Homeownership Assistance Program (HAP).
“I’m proud that the City of Palmdale, working in partnership with HUD, is able to turn blighted properties into beautiful homes and help families like the Almanza’s achieve the American Dream of home ownership,” Ledford said.
The City’s NSP and HAP program is designed to provide low and moderate income families with a loan for closing costs, and the amount needed to meet the government’s affordable monthly housing cost guidelines, when they purchase NSP assisted property.
The City of Palmdale purchased 33 homes under the program. At a drawing held earlier this year at a Greater Antelope Valley Association of Realtors meeting, seven realtors were selected to handle the first round of listings. Most recently, an additional three realtors were selected to list additional homes.
“This is a wonderful example of government, private industry and our residents working together for the betterment of all,” said Palmdale’s Neighborhood Preservation Manager Mike Miller. “With funding from HUD, the City has taken dilapidated homes, hired local contractors to completely rehabilitate them, and made them available through local realtors who are helping to make home ownership a reality.”
A reality that came just in time for the Almanza family.
“We’ve been going through this for a year and a half trying to purchase a home, but nothing was working for us,” said Natasha Almanza. “And finally this program came along and it all just came together for us.”
The Almanza family’s new home has four bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms, a welcomed change from the two-bedroom apartment they once occupied.
“This place seems ginormous to us,” Natasha Almanza said. “Our apartment was probably less than half the size of this house, and to top it off, we’re paying less than what we paid for our apartment. I want to thank God because without him none of this would have been possible.”
She said she’s also grateful to many others who worked tirelessly to assist the family in purchasing their first home, including Terry Roscoe from the City of Palmdale, Tamara Stoebe, of Prudential Troth Realtors, Rodney Jacobson of Platinum Home Mortgage, and the Oasis Christian Church.
“This program has a lot of paperwork and approvals, but when you do everything right, it’s well worth it at the end of the day,” said Natasha Almanza.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the purpose of assisting in the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. HUD has allocated $7,434,301 of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to the City of Palmdale. The City has purchased and rehabilitated homes that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, rehabilitated the homes, and is selling the homes to qualified low and moderate income families. Property lists and agent contact information is available on the City’s Web site at www.cityofpalmdale.org. For more information on the City’s NSP and HAP programs, contact the City’s Housing Division at 661-267-5126.