After receiving a late fee on her fourth-quarter 2018 assessments, a Province homeowner reached out to community manager Debbie Harper. Doctors recommended the 75-year-old undergo hip replacement surgery, forcing her to take time off from her job and leaving her with limited income.
For Debbie, such a call wasn’t completely unexpected.
“I looked at it as an opportunity,” she said. “When I talk to my homeowners, they always have a story to tell. And, being in an active-adult community, it usually has to do with someone close to them battling illness. I always try to find a way to help.”
In this particular instance, Debbie knew just how to handle the situation. Debbie serves on the Homeowners Outreach Program Enterprise (HOPE) Grant Committee of the Arizona Association of Community Managers. This committee reviews applications from homeowners living in community associations who are unable to pay their assessments for one of three specific reasons: treatment of a severe health problem, a death in the family resulting in financial loss, or financial hardship due to being called to full-time active duty for one or more years by the Arizona National Guard or other Reserve unit.
Debbie reached out to the resident to verify she met the grant’s other criteria: the owner must reside in the home, be in good standing with the association and be current on assessments for at least one year prior to the qualifying event. Upon verifying this information, Debbie set out to help, reaching out to the AACM committee for an application on behalf of her resident.
The committee pre-qualified the woman for a grant, and Debbie provided additional information on behalf of the community association. Debbie was absent from the meeting when the committee voted, but her request received approval for not only the fourth-quarter 2018 assessments but also the first quarter of 2019.
The HOPE Grant only covers assessments, not late fees or other fines that have been incurred. To assist even further, Debbie worked with the Province Board of Directors to waive the resident’s late fees.
“It’s heartwarming,” Debbie said of being able to support a resident in need. “It’s a win for everyone. The resident receives the help they need, the association receives its money and AACM is able to give back to a resident in need.”
Funding for HOPE Grants comes from AACM’s annual charity golf fundraiser. The amount of grants awarded each year varies, but Debbie said it has been between five and 12 each year she has served on the committee.