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Categories: Habitat Happenings, Family Stories, Home Repair, Habitat Tucson

Margarita’s Home Repair

When you walk into Margarita’s home in Barrio Hollywood, you’re immediately greeted by rich colors, sparkling mosaics, flowering Arizona plants, several representations of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a kitchen stocked with plenty of wooden spoons.

Her classic Tucson home was built in 1958 and has seen a lot; Margarita cared for her father while he was in Hospice in this home, and she says, “I want to be here as long as I can.” Margarita told us that Habitat Tucson’s whole home repair partnership with the City of Tucson was a “blessing and a miracle.” These repairs will enable her to stay in her home for the rest of her life.

She knew that she needed a new roof and AC. Her roof leaked around the skylight and her air conditioning started making loud noises and stopped working right when summer began heating up.

Margarita said, “I kept thinking about how I was going to pay for the repairs. One thing I’ve always told myself about not having a lot of money is that you really have to think and prioritize. I was probably going to have to take out a loan, which I really didn’t want to do.”

As a former employee of the University of Arizona and Pima County, she retired from the “middle” of the Tucson workforce. She says, “I don’t have a lot, but I have enough. I’ve been blessed a lot, and I’ve worked for what I have. I’m most proud of the fact that I worked all my life, and I bought this house on my own. And it’s not a lot, but it’s for me, and I love it.”

Margarita started researching affordable repair programs. She found the City of Tucson’s repair application online, applied, and was pleased with how quickly and easily the process went. “Everyone was so kind and respectful,” she says. “I’m so glad that it worked out.”

The new roof and AC will make a tangible impact on Margarita’s life. “Now, in the summertime, and especially in the monsoon, I don’t have to worry,” she says.

“As the roof got older, every year, I’d worry during monsoon season that something might happen. I worried about the power going out and my AC dying in this extreme heat.”

Her new roof and AC were paid for through a combination of an affordable lean on Margarita’s mortgage and City funding. This project was coordinated by Habitat staff.

Helping to pay for the repairs and contributing sweat equity with Habitat Tucson excites Margarita because she is so proud of working for her home.

She says, “My home is like my insurance. That’s why I always wanted my own house, because that would be my insurance. I knew that home prices were going to go up and rent was going to go up eventually.

My mom always taught us that, ‘When you can buy your little house, you should, and then you should always fix it.’

So, to me, that’s really important. And it makes me feel that I’ve accomplished something. Sometimes I don’t feel strong, but I am a strong woman, and I did it myself.”

Habitat Tucson’s home repair programs allow people like Margarita to stay in their homes with dignity and pride. Many Critical Home Repair participants are your neighbors in Tucson.

Repairing homes like Margarita’s restores vitality and deepens the roots of our community throughout Southern Arizona.

2 thoughts on “Margarita’s Home Repair”

  1. This is such a blessing to see how programs like these are helping such beautiful people take care of their housing needs!! Great job!

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