Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County provides update

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By Leah Ballard | Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County has begun construction on two homes to be completed this fall. This week — its muddy. Despite this monsoon rain, we’ve been busy at your local Habitat, working toward our commitment to build 15 homes in five years. 

The push to build more, faster, was always a goal for board member Paul Lehman. While all the members of our board supported the idea, a million-dollar annual budget would be a huge undertaking for our rural office.

Even as we’ve had a couple years to wrap our head around the cost to build two units, the numbers still make us dizzy — and next year, it’ll be three units.

For 28 years, your local Habitat office chugged along building one home a year. At that time, we would self-finance a build and service the mortgage for our homeowners for the next 30 years. Monthly mortgage payments would come in to slowly pay off the cost of construction and we’d scrounge our pennies for the next build, year after year.

We have transitioned on the past few builds to outside financing. Our homeowners now pay a mortgage to USDA Rural Development and we use the funds from the sale to build more, faster.

The logistics of “15 in Five” was set in motion last year with a gift from the county of 11 tax lien lots to Habitat Archuleta. Your Board of County Commissioners and the county attorney did the legwork of transitioning these vacant lots to a step in the direction of affordable home ownership.

The next step for Habitat Archuleta was a transition to using modular units. 

Many Habitat offices across the country are making this transition as the need for workforce housing has risen. Habitat Archuleta is spearheading the partnership with a nonprofit modular manufacturer for other affiliates in the state of Colorado.

We are not, however, immune to the all-too-common epidemic of production delays and supply chain issues. Perhaps the monsoon season is good timing, as our build sites will be quiet until the arrival or our modular units in late September.

Our team has completed the excavation, foundations have been poured, garages have been built and sided — and, now, we wait.

Habitat Archuleta projects are a combination of volunteer labor, subcontractors, in-kind donation of products and services, and homeowner sweat equity. Habitat families work alongside volunteers to build their home and pay an affordable mortgage.

Watch our thank you advertisements to find out who in your community is supporting affordable home ownership.

These hours and efforts will be appreciated for generations by our workforce homeowners, the businesses who employ them and the children who rely upon them. Contact us to see how you can get involved. Starting Sept. 20, we’ll be on the job site Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please call or email before you arrive so we can plan for how many hands there will be on deck: office@HabitatArchuleta.org or (970) 264-6960.