Homeownership isn’t a magic bullet… but owning a home can change lives. It allows families to spend more time together; it gives a sense of permanence; it benefits children positively with mental and physical health, better attendance and performance in school; it allows for more participation in communities and neighborhoods.
Recently Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley welcomed new families who will work beside volunteers and our staff to build their homes. This group of families is part of our 100th Home Celebration—we’ve helped more than 300 children find housing stability. This is exciting for us but a catalyst for hardworking local families.
Even as we break ground and start building on our 100th home, we are readying for the next phase of applicants. We encourage everyone to apply to become a “Habitat family,” especially if you have need, can show the ability to pay, have a willingness to partner and have income between 35 and 80% of the area median income ($35,000 to $92,800 depending on family size). Learn about the requirements.
Learn a little bit about the families selected this year… and if it sounds like you, please apply. Every family selected lives in an overcrowded situation, with most of the families sharing one bedroom. It feels unsafe and, obviously, cramped and crowded.
Many of the structures are dilapidated, with saggy, leaking roofs; some have no heat; many have water that cannot be drunk. Add in that most families are living without a lease, so they could be asked to leave at any time or rent can go up beyond what they can pay.
All of these factors cause stress for the family and negatively impact their mental health.
We’ve talked to families who have moved into new homes and it makes a world of difference. After three years of living in their Habitat home, one family shared, “I can’t find the words to explain how much confidence and support (we have), and what a necessary, indispensable foundation it provides.
“It gave me the opportunity to push the kids to dream big and if they are, well, believe me I am better … if they are happy, I am happy too, but when they suffer their sadness is mine too.”
Owning a home, and paying a fair and reasonable mortgage allows parents to dream right alongside their children. Many parents have continued their education: graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s. They find they have the space and time to dedicate to studying when not cramped in a small room worrying over bills.
This homeowner has become a teacher. “Since moving into my home, I have completed my Bachelor’s at Colorado Mesa University. I have been employed as a teacher through ECSD since graduation. All three of my sons have improved their grades; they play football. Since moving into our home, they have grown out of asthma and they are not nearly as ill as before.”
Each of these families has proven they can pay the mortgage; some have applied before and they are ready to partner to help build their future home. Each adult homeowner must volunteer for 250 hours.
“We urge anyone who wants to own a home to apply. Almost 90 families applied last year—housing is a critical need and we are proud of being the only permanently affordable homebuilder in Eagle County. We help create communities and strong neighborhoods. Join us,” says Caitlin Weis, family services manager.
How to apply:
Visit HabitatVailValley.org to learn about the requirements.
Download and fill out an application.
Call us with any questions: 970-748-6718.
Deadline is September 30.