Planting a Seed of Opportunity

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Imagine children running around in freshly cut grass and their squealing laughter heard from blocks away. This is what the parents of Nicole and Lisa dreamed about for their kids.

For years the Rodriguez family had been renting apartments in the Longmont area. With two little girls, they constantly worried that the noise their daughters would make playing would disturb the landlord. Living in apartments made the Rodriguez family feel like they were restricted from living a normal life with privacy.

Carlos Rodriguez and his wife, Nidia, attended a community event and heard about a down payment system called the Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) program offered by Foothills United Way and Boulder County Community Action Programs. That following weekend, the Rodriguez submitted an application to be a part of the program.

The PIE program offers money management training and a homeownership class. It helps new homeowners save for a down payment on a home and helps participants earn a four to one match to savings. For example, a participant could receive $132 for every $33 saved.

“It’s a difficult program,” Carlos said. “But it’s worth it. The PIE program was good for our income since it’s pretty expensive to live in Longmont; we were able to benefit from the program.”

Carlos worked day and night to help support his family and save, while his wife Nidia also worked.

The Rodriguez family owned a dog before moving into their new home but had to let it stay with someone else because their apartment would not allow dogs. After successfully saving for their home through the PIE program and moving into it, they have been able to bring their dog home.

Their daughters couldn’t be more excited as they run around, playing games in their spacious house with their dog, Molly. Carlos and Nidia’s eyes light up as well as they talk about all of the improvements they are making on the house.

They are most proud of their gardens and freshly installed sod in the front and back yards.

After moving in, Carlos received a promotion at work and no longer has to work at night, giving him more time to save and enjoy his new home.

“Now we’re able to have our own home and enjoy it,” Carlos said. “We’re saving to move into a larger home so we have even more space to grow. If you make an effort, you can save.”