By Lisa Bloomquist Palmer
HomesFund, a Durango-based nonprofit organization that serves Southwest Colorado, is expanding the Impact Loan Program (ILP) into Archuleta County.
The ILP provides $15,000 of mortgage assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income homebuyers in Archuleta County. The $15,000 provided through the ILP is in addition to the existing Affordability Loan Program through which HomesFund provides mortgage assistance loans of $19,000. When accessing both programs, low- and moderate-income eligible homebuyers may obtain $34,000 in mortgage assistance loans from HomesFund when purchasing a home in Archuleta County.
Homes are becoming increasingly expensive in Archuleta County and wages are not keeping up with the increasing home prices. Thus, mortgage assistance that bridges the gap between low workforce wages and high home prices is needed for many individuals and families to reach homeownership.
After an analysis of incomes and home prices in southwest Colorado, it was determined that the affordability gap in Archuleta County is growing more rapidly than the affordability gap in the other southwest Colorado counties. Between 2016 and 2020, the median home price in Archuleta County increased by 22 percent. Wages increased by just 13 percent during the same time period. Also, between 2016 and 2020, the percent of households with incomes of 75 percent of the area median income for a family of three who could afford a home in Archuleta County decreased from 31 percent in 2016 to 17 percent in 2020. Archuleta County is also suffering from a severe lack of supply of affordable homes and a point-in-time look at the Multiple Listing Service in late December 2020 showed that only eight of 137 homes listed for sale in Archuleta County were priced below $239,000 — the amount that is affordable for a household of three with an income of 75 percent of the county’s median income.
To access mortgage assistance from HomesFund, all prospective homebuyers must first attend a homebuyer education class and receive housing counseling. During the ongoing COVID outbreak, both Homebuyer education and housing counseling may be accessed virtually. Prospective homebuyers interested in the homebuyer education, housing counseling, and mortgage assistance programs offered by HomesFund are encouraged to sign up for an online homebuyer education class through the HomesFund website, www.homesfund.org. Additional information can be obtained through calling HomesFund at 259-1418.