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Captioned above:  Arlington Mayor Dr. Robert Cluck, Maria G., City Council Members Robert Rivera and Lana Wolff, City Manager Trey Yelverton, and Arlington Housing Authority Executive Director David Zappasodi at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Maria’s home.

Maria is a mother of two teenage children who resides in Arlington, Texas.  Maria and her children were homeless and living in an emergency shelter when she first met the Arlington Housing Authority.  Maria received rental housing assistance from the Arlington Housing Authority’s homeless assistance program before transitioning to the Housing Choice Voucher program in 1999.  Over the last 11 years, through her personal determination and hard work, Maria utilized the services provided by the Arlington Housing Authority to help her maintain her family in safe, decent affordable rental housing.  During this time Maria obtained job training, stable employment, established a good credit history, and purchased her first home in 2011.  Maria is a continuing participant in the AHA’s Family Self Sufficiency program working toward her final goal of returning to school.  Maria utilized the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Section 8 homeownership program to achieve her dream of homeownership.  Photos capture the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate her achievement.

Maria transitioned from desperation and homelessness to independence and homeownership in 11 years.  This success story is repeated in communities throughout Texas as a result of PHAs utilizing HUD resources in a responsible manner to help people willing to help themselves.  As in this instance, HUD program resources in the hands of skilled public housing agency staff transform lives and revitalize communities.