Five things you thought you knew about Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County

Photo courtesy Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County
Workers put siding on a Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County house.

By Leah Ballard | Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County

Habitat for Humanity builds homes internationally.

True, but Archuleta has its very own affiliate right next door to the grocery store downtown. We have built 28 affordable homes in 28 years, right here in Pagosa Springs. We have grown from an all-volunteer operation; today we employ two full-time employees, three part-time employees and we are fortunate to have nine dedicated board members.

Habitat Archuleta builds houses.

True, but we don’t just build houses; our job goes way beyond the framing and roofing. We assist applicants in obtaining a mortgage, repairing credit history and maintaining a home.

We ensure that applicants have reliable income to afford homeownership and assign deed restrictions to the home these families help build. Habitat future homeowners complete homebuyer education and “good neighbor” classes.

As a team, our future homeowners, local contractors and volunteers are adding houses to the affordable inventory by the sweat of their brow, as well as their financial commitment.

Habitat Archuleta gives houses away.

False. Habitat homeowners purchase their home with an affordable mortgage. Homeowners must meet credit and income requirements and put in 250 hours of sweat equity, physically building the home alongside volunteers.

Once in the home, Habitat homeowners cannot rent their home and if future circumstances result in them needing to move, Habitat Archuleta has first right to purchase the home so we can re-sell it to another workforce family. Additional deed restrictions help keep the home in the affordable inventory.

Habitat Archuleta builds affordable housing.

Yes and no: Our focus is workforce homeownership, not simply affordability. 

That means our board considers not just their financial need, but that homeownership makes a family more vested in our community. Our focus is to support our community workforce and those who contribute to making this town such a great place. Habitat homeowners fill important jobs that keep our community working:

• Servers.

• Teachers and paraprofessionals.

• Public health and safety employees.

• Custodians and housekeepers.

• Property managers.

• Hospital workers.

• Retail managers and workers.

• Raft guides and other tourism employees.

Habitat just got a bunch of money from a billionaire.

True and false. Habitat for Humanity International received a generous donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who directed the funds to certain affiliates in larger cities and specific funds. Habitat Archuleta homes are funded by grants and donations from our community, as well as the homeowners sweat equity and an affordable mortgage.

We receive cash, time and product donations from local donors and volunteers. Local contractors and businesses provide products and services, and land has been donated by public and private supporters.

Swing by the office or give us a call if you’re curious about donating, volunteering or applying to be a Habitat homeowner. 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. 27, we’ll be on the job site Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in an effort to get it done before the snow flies. Please call (970) 264-6960 or email before you arrive so we can plan for how many hands will be on deck.