"Helping our friends and neighbors work to achieve the American Dream"
Today, U.S. Congressman John Salazar announced that Colorado Housing Inc. in Pagosa Springs has won an award of $90,000 from the Housing Assistance Council to support the building of six self-help, sweat equity homes in Dolores. The funding is part of Housing Assistance Council's HUD-funded Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which supports land acquisition or infrastructure development by nonprofit groups such as Colorado Housing Inc. that are operating self-help housing programs.
Using the funds from the Housing Assistance Council to develop a site in Dolores, Housing Inc. will then work with a group of families to help them build their own homes. The families work together to complete the homes and have permanent mortgages from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's single-family homeownership loan program. The families receive home-buyer education and then put in at least 600 hours working on their own and their neighbors' homes in a cooperative effort. The families build an estimated $30,000 in equity in the homes through their own labor. The homes will all be Energy Star-rated for energy efficient windows, insulation, lighting, furnaces and air conditioning.
Today Congressman Salazar offered the following comments on the funding.
"Now more than ever we need to be working together to help our friends and neighbors work to achieve the American Dream of home ownership. I support programs like the CHI self-help build program and I'm glad that this funding will help put six hard working Colorado families into their own homes."
Moises Loza, Executive Director of the Housing Assistance Council offered the following comment on the funding:
"This program helps put low- and moderate-income families safely and successfully into homeownership. HAC is very pleased to have worked with CHI over a number of years, providing $1.295 million to help build 100 such homes in Colorado."
Colorado Housing, Inc. (CHI) was originally incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization over 35 years ago to address the affordable housing needs in the greater Denver area. In 1995, the organization was brought to Pagosa Springs to serve Southwest Colorado and to provide affordable homeownership opportunities using the mutual self-help home building method. CHI typically builds between 16-20 affordable houses each year in La Plata, Montezuma, San Juan and Archuleta Counties. To date, CHI has built more than 200 homes and is considered to be one of the largest non-profit builders in the affordable housing industry throughout the southwest Colorado region.
The mutual self-help program is made possible through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD). USDA-RD provides a 523 technical assistance grant for administrative support & construction management. USDA-RD also provides homeowners with a 502 loan for the construction of their homes. CHI also receives support from Housing Assistance Council (HAC), by providing SHOP loan funds, which helps with land acquisition.
Both HAC and Rural Community Assistance Council (RCAC) provide CHI with technical assistance for managing SHOP loan monies and 523 technical assistance funding, respectively. The technical assistance that is provided can include, but is not limited to board and staff-level training, short-term and long-term planning, grant reviews, financial resource development, financial planning, and marketing.