Geraldina Gonzalez Reaches Her American Dream

Geraldina Gonzalez

Geraldina Gonzalez found the home of her choice in Charlottesville’s Orangedale neighborhood, and her mortgage company, Atlantic Coast Mortgage, suggested contacting Piedmont Housing Alliance, experts in supporting first-time homebuyers.

She attended our homebuyer class in November and officially purchased her home in early December.  It all came together quickly, in large part due to her organization and determination.

“I’d been working slowly,” she said. “A couple of years ago, I started working to improve my credit, get down debt, pay things on time.”

Geraldina first came to Charlottesville from El Salvador 15 years ago, and she’s now a US Citizen. She works full time as a server at Hamiltons’ and also works in the café at Feast. Geraldina says buying a home is “truly the American Dream” for her and her seven-year-old daughter. “As an immigrant – we come to this country for opportunities that in our country are impossible…. My goal is to show her that, as a single mom, I can do it. And if I can do it, it opens the possibilities for her.”

Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) will help Geraldina with some needed repairs around the house, replacing windows and making repairs to the plumbing and electrical wiring. With down payment assistance through Piedmont Housing Alliance to help make her monthly payments affordable, Geraldina said, “I can sleep at night. I don’t have to think ‘How are we going to pay the mortgage, or this, or this?” Some of the funding for repairs and down payment assistance came from a special partnership between the City of Charlottesville, AHIP, and Piedmont Housing Alliance to support affordable home ownership in the Orangedale/Prospect neighborhood. Geraldina also took advantage of Piedmont Housing Alliance’s allocation of low-interest mortgage financing to help make her housing payments more affordable, through VHDA’s Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP).

Geraldina said she feels lucky that she found out about Piedmont Housing Alliance, and she encourages others to ask for help. “Sometimes the help is there, but you’re like – ‘Oh, maybe I won’t qualify. Or maybe it’s not for me…maybe because I make too much, or because I don’t make too much.’ No! The help is there.”

Piedmont Housing Alliance is here to help people navigate a variety of housing challenges and opportunities. If you’re interested in housing counseling or financial coaching, call 434-817-2436 to make an appointment with one of our certified housing counselors.