Margarita Lopez: Resident at Villa Lara Family Apartments

Margarita is a resident in Pacific Southwest’s Villa Lara Family Apartments in the city of Imperial, California. Given mobility by her wheelchair, affordability is only one of her deciding factors when choosing a place to live. To her neighbors, she’s a friend, always out and about. To the staff, she’s a pleasure to work with and a good student when attending Villa Lara’s classes. Who she is now is only made possible by the affordable housing that she has access to at Villa Lara.

When asked how significant having an affordable home was to her, Margarita let out a chuckle: it couldn’t be more significant. Having a home that was both affordable and easily accessible was the reason she felt she could be happy. The stability affordable housing granted her along with the ability to perform everyday tasks, like entering her room or restroom or simply being able to take care of herself independently, were both of huge value to her.

One of the biggest challenges Margarita faced before living in Villa Lara was looking for such an affordable and accessible home. When she initially searched for housing, Margarita faced many challenges: whether a place was too expensive but perfect for her disability or affordable but either too small or designed for one with more range of movement, there always seemed to be a reason the place wasn’t right for her. Finding Villa Lara was like a miracle.

Overall, Margarita Lopez is happy with her home and the affordability and accessibility that came with it. She said she couldn’t explain just how grateful she really was to be living there, even explicitly saying that all changes to her life by her new residence have been good ones. Her new residence in Villa Lara means being closer to her family as well as being able to enjoy resident services, like the classes she enjoys. Finding affordable accessible housing didn't just mean a happier life for Margarita—it meant having an entirely new one.