Habitat for Humanity makes progress in providing homes for local families


Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County is in our second year of building 15 homes over five years — and this year we are building three new homes for workforce families in Pagosa Springs. 

In order to reduce build time and triple the average number of homes we build each year, we are building with energy-efficient modular homes. The three homes are located in Chris Mountain Village II and Trails subdivisions.

The modular homes arrived ahead of schedule from the manufacturer in Albuquerque, N.M. Fortunately, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Board of Directors generously agreed to allow Habitat to store the modules at its brush mulching facility on Sam Houston Avenue until the installation crane arrived, saving this nonprofit several thousand dollars on storage and delivery.

Once delivered, the plan was to crane the two sections of each home onto their foundations in late June. However, as anyone involved in construction knows, plans “evolve.” The crane operator was traveling over Wolf Creek Pass from Leadville to our site when the transmission failed. The driver was safe, but the company had to track down parts from Germany to get it repaired and to our build site. (Perhaps you saw the crane patiently waiting alongside the road in your travels over the pass.) 

Construction supervisor Jeff Bouwer and our newest staff member, David Hilborn, turned on a dime to redirect the construction schedules while we waited for the crane. Excavation and foundations had been completed, so local volunteers and a crew of AmeriCorps NCCC members stick-built garages and raised the roof on each module in preparation for crane day. 

Because Habitat homes include rooftop solar panels, we have a steeper roof pitch than traditional modular homes, requiring a “scissor” roof for shipping. Jobsite volunteers “raised” the shingled roof of each module in a slow, coordinated effort — you can see the timelapse video on our social media.

Crane days finally happened July 20-22, and our volunteer crews are back on schedule, installing siding and interior finishes.

Habitat Archuleta administrative staff was also busy in July, reviewing 22 applications for the 2024 build season. Habitat homeownership applications include all the necessary information for pre-approval of a USDA Direct mortgage, which is specific to applicants with an annual income of 80 percent or less of the area median income. This year, 10 applicants met those criteria.

The month of August is a big one for Habitat Archuleta’s Family Selection Team. These four board members will meet the financially qualified applicants in their homes, answer any questions about the Habitat homeownership process and get to know them better.

In addition to obtaining an affordable mortgage, families invited to partner with Habitat Archuleta in 2024 will commit to more than 250 hours of sweat equity and take homebuyer education classes. Some applicants also complete HUD certified credit counseling with HomesFund, a nonprofit based in Durango.

Habitat Archuleta will build three more homes in 2024. All financially qualified applicants who are not invited to build with us can still apply for a USDA Direct loan for use in the conventional real estate market next summer. By the end of September, this office will have facilitated four additional purchases for workforce homeowners this year, in addition to the three new units that comprise our 2023 job sites this summer. 

Join us on the job site Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please call (970) 264-6960 or email office@HabitatArchuleta.org before you arrive so we can plan for how many hands will be on deck.