Need an Need an Affordable House?

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photo by Martin J. Smith
photo by Martin J. Smith

Habitat for Humanity is reopening the application process for latest Hot Sulphur Springs home

by Martin J. Smith
Work continues on the latest home being built by Habitat for Humanity of Grand County, but with one significant difference: The intended homeowner has unexpectedly decided to withdraw from the process.
That means the local chapter of the international affordable-housing organization is reopening the application process to hard-working local residents who might qualify for the attractive three-bedroom, board-and-batten home that sits on one of several adjacent lots Habitat owns on the eastern edge of Hot Sulphur Springs. Westbound drivers on Route 40 can see those homes rising on the right just as they enter town, and volunteers—guided by contractor George Davis of Maple Street Builders—are working year round to build at least five homes on those adjacent Nevava Street lots during the next few years.

The first step in the application process is to attend one of the two scheduled Zoom meetings
to learn more about the program. Those meetings will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, and 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21.

“There’s a huge need for affordable housing in Grand County, and Habitat’s small-but-dedicated group of volunteers and contractors are actually doing something to address that problem,” said Habitat Board President Chuck Chladek of Grand Lake. “And normally we don’t start building a house until the future homeowner is selected and can work alongside us.”

In this case, Chladek said, the Covid shutdown convinced the selected homeowner to withdraw and possibly relocate closer to family in the upper Midwest.

“We’re more than halfway done with the latest house, and it looks great,” he added. “We invite any Grand County resident who is interested to apply for consideration.”

Habitat’s mission is to make home ownership possible for members of the Grand County community who otherwise might never get the chance—and who are willing to invest their own time and effort for the opportunity. Selected homeowners typically help build their homes and pay an affordable mortgage, working alongside the dedicated crew of generous contractors, skilled framers, unskilled lumber- and tool-toters, lunch providers, and assorted other heaven-sent helper-outers.

(Editor’s note: Writer Martin J. Smith is Granby area resident and a volunteer and board member of Habitat for Humanity of Grand County.)

How Do Qualify for a Habitat House?

Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Have a qualifying credit score and verifiable income

Have sufficient income to be able to pay a monthly mortgage payment. Habitat for Humanity of Grand County can consider applicants with income up to 80% of Grand County’s median income. (Approximately $4,206 per month for a family of 2, or $5,252 for a family of 4) That means a Habitat partnership is a viable option for gainfully employed people such as firefighters, nurses, teachers, or other hard-working families in the county.

Live in housing conditions that are not adequate for your family’s needs

Have lived in Grand County for at least one year

Commit 200 hours of volunteer time (for each household member over the age of 18) to help Habitat volunteers on local home-building projects, or help with fundraising events and mailings

Getting Started

The first step in the process of applying for a Habitat home is to attend one of the two scheduled Zoom meetings to learn more about the program. Those meetings will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, and 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21. If you want to attend, please call Executive Director Jodi Greisch at 970-887-9138, or email her at [email protected] com, and she will send you the meeting link. If you do not have access to the internet or are not familiar with using Zoom, she can help you download the Zoom app or make other arrangements.