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A Spotlight on Housing Services

Alicia and David, a Latinx couple with two daughters, have owned their home on Chicago’s southwest side since 2014. In the fall of 2019, the couple began to struggle financially after a serious medical condition required Alicia to take a leave of absence from work. They began to fall behind on their mortgage payments, and their oldest daughter, who was enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at a local college, took a semester off because the family was unable to afford tuition.

When the couple sought services through Brighton Park Neighborhood Council’s Financial Services department in January of 2020, they had fallen four months behind on their mortgage and feared the prospect of losing their home. Upon meeting with a housing counselor at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Alicia and David learned that they had options for modifying their current home loan. With the support of their housing counselor, the couple applied for a loan modification that extended their payment duration and lowered their monthly payments by $400. They began a loan modification trial in April of 2020, and after three months of successfully making lowered monthly payments, were officially approved for the loan modification.

As a result of this modified schedule with more affordable payments, Alicia and David have been able to stay current on their mortgage and keep their home that they have worked so hard to maintain. Their oldest daughter was able to return to college and complete her bachelor’s degree, and has since enrolled in a master’s degree program. Alicia and David have expressed a profound appreciation for the support that their Brighton Park Neighborhood Council housing counselor provided throughout all phases of this process. Not only did their housing counselor explain all of their options and empower them with the information necessary to make the best decision for their family, but she also provided emotional support during a tenuous and stressful time. Alicia and David reported that the personal connection they developed with their housing counselor was a source of comfort as they navigated a complex financial system. As a result of their participation in housing counseling services, Alicia and David feel an enhanced sense of both financial and emotional well-being.