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Disabled US Army Vet Receives Key to a Mortgage-Free Home in Garland

US Army veteran SPC Leo Perez and his family reside in a newly renovated, mortgage-free home in Garland.

On Friday, Aug. 28, Perez, his wife and children were given the keys to a three-bedroom energy-efficient home that was donated by Bank of America in partnership with Green Extreme Homes and the City of Garland through its GREAT Homes Program. The Home Depot also provided materials and volunteers for the project. Family, community members and local officials gathered to honor Perez’s military service and sacrifice to the United States, and welcome the Perez family to the neighborhood.

Richard Holt from Bank of America, Garland Mayor Douglas Athas, and Jean and Steve Brown of Green Extreme Homes, along with dozens of volunteers and neighbors, greeted the Perez family as they arrived at their new home Friday morning.

Perez planned to make a career in the Army, but was suddenly disabled six years into his service. With Perez unable to hold a full-time job due to his disabilities, his wife has relentlessly applied for jobs; however, her lack of work experience after dedicating her life to raising their children while Perez was deployed has become a roadblock. Perez is still pursuing his passion of serving others by becoming an EMS worker part time and is determined to maintain a stable environment for his family. They believe having a home of their own will be a solid first step in the right direction.

As part of Bank of America’s efforts to help revitalize communities and support the housing needs of those who have served and sacrificed for our nation, the company has donated more than 1,900 homes nationwide to military veteran-support charities and other nonprofit, community-based organizations. To learn more about Bank of America’s support of service members and veterans, visit bankofamerica.com/militarysupport.

The GREAT Homes program is administered by the City of Garland Housing and Community Services Department and is an innovative approach to re-energizing Garland’s existing housing stock through energy efficient and aesthetic upgrades while maintaining the architectural integrity of Garland’s more mature neighborhoods. The program offers creative financing terms, which not only benefit the buyers of the homes, but provide a dollar-per-dollar return on investment back to the City.

Green Extreme Homes Community Development Corporation is taking a leadership role to promote the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH). Green Extreme applies this ZERH criteria in the rehabilitation of homes and new construction, then, along with its partners, provides energy efficient, healthy homes to the most vulnerable veteran population who are at greatest need for affordable housing options. Green Extreme Homes is committed to providing long term sustainability in housing options it provides to its clients.