Habitat for Humanity of Montezuma County ended 2017 by renovating a fixer-upper that was purchased by a family in need.
And Habitat will jump start 2018 with its first new home construction project on a lot in Sedona Estates off 12th Street, in Cortez.
Twelve lots in the subdivision are being donated to Habitat, said executive director Molly Greenlee. The donor prefers to remain anonymous.
“We are very grateful, and are excited to build our first new home for a local family,” she said. “Construction is scheduled for March, and we are taking applications.”
Habitat offers affordable homes for qualified low-income families who invest sweat equity into renovation or building of a new home. Families pay a monthly mortgage payment, but with 0 percent interest. No down payment is required.
“It is a great deal, and their mortgage payments are more affordable than renting,” Greenlee said. “With no interest, payments are usually $500 to $600 per month.”
Since 2013, they have renovated and sold four homes in the $100,000 to $125,000 range. Every adult of a family approved for a Habitat home must kick in 200 hours of sweat equity, either working on their new home or volunteering in some other way for the organization.
Habitat also has a small home repair program called A Brush with Kindness. Volunteers visit qualified families or individuals who homes need basic repairs or upgrades, such as door and windows, exterior work, or yard cleanup.
“We could use more applicants for our home repair program,” Greenlee said. “It keeps our volunteers busy throughout the year.”
Habitat’s thrift shop, called the Re-Store, takes in donated furniture and home supplies as part of the organization’s fundraising. They are looking to hire a new manager for the store to replace Lynn Anderson who is retiring.
Low-income families in need of housing are encouraged to apply for the new Habitat home being built this spring, Greenlee said. Habitat has less stringent credit qualifications than a traditional mortgage.
A successful applicant must demonstrate housing need, qualify as low income, have the resources to make a monthly mortgage payment long term, and be willing to contribute to the project.
“Our mission is to improve housing situations for low-income families and individuals,” Greenlee said.
“Once the burden of finding adequate shelter is lifted, families thrive and can focus on other pursuits such as employment and education. Another direct impact of an affordable Habitat home is that it provides more stability for school-age children.”
Habitat is hosting an orientation for interested applicants on Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. at St. Barnabas Church, 110 W. North St. in Cortez. Child care will be available, and program information is also available in Spanish. For more information about Habitat programs, visit their website at habitatmontezuma.org