Marie Deer, an Oakland resident, went from not having a car to acquiring a pre-owned 2015 Honda Insight, a hybrid vehicle that she was able to afford through a financing assistance program available to low income Bay Area residents who live in disadvantaged communities most impacted by air pollution.
Not owning a car was challenging for Deer who faced a lengthy commute to work. Running simple errands like buying groceries, going to the laundromat, and taking her grandchildren on short road trips was also time consuming for the same reason. But, all those difficulties are now in the rearview mirror of her new clean car and she is thankful to be able to enjoy the many advantages of increased mobility.
"For me to have this car, first of all, is a blessing and only takes me now ten minutes to get to work and I am able to do more mobile things out especially with my grandkids,” Deer said. “It is very inexpensive to buy gas. If you get low on money or anything, you can turn it over to electric and keeps the air clean."
Cleaner air is a particularly meaningful benefit that the hybrid provides to Deer. “I have two grandkids that have asthma and I have asthma, so by me driving (it) I don’t pollute the air because it is a hybrid.”
Marie’s income level allowed her to qualify for $2,500 through a state grant and an additional $5,500 in financing assistance offered through the Community Housing Development Corporation in coordination with ARB.
Now Marie is one of the many Bay Area residents who have taken advantage of the financing assistance program in order to drive cleaner. And she is eager to share her experience with others.
"If I can reach out and touch anybody that is low-income family, a grandmother, a mother or a father that is struggling and trying to get from point A to point B, this is the best program to come to," said Deer. "They work with you, every step of the way."