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The Nuts and Bolts of Building Community

Tags: Stories of Impact

11.6.15 Habitat-for-Humanity.gif

Charlie Andrews

Habitat for Humanity of Eagle County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope through construction of simple, decent, affordable homes. In Eagle County, the average cost of home ownership is $450,000 compared to the state average of $236,000. The area’s high cost of living is a significant challenge for the majority of Eagle County residents, especially those working in the service sector. Currently, 31% of Eagle County residents spend more than half of their monthly income on housing.

Habitat for Humanity of Eagle County does an extraordinary job leveraging local resources to drive down the cost of the homes. For example, not far away from many of Habitat’s constructed homes in Gypsum is the local drywall plant, a main producer of drywall for much of the United States. Habitat has built a relationship with the  plant to claim drywall that could not be sold to the general public. As a result, Habitat has built the majority of their homes without having to purchase drywall, freeing up resources for additional projects.

In 2013, El Pomar Foundation awarded Habitat a $25,000 grant to support its “It Starts at Home” capital campaign to fund the construction of two duplexes in Gypsum. Habitat builds an average of six homes per year, constructing almost 60 homes since its inception in 1995. To own a Habitat home each adult must contribute at least 250 hours of work into the construction of the house. In return, Habitat provides a 0% interest loan for the purchase of the home. Most Habitat home owners contribute 35% of their monthly income toward mortgage payments. Ultimately, through community partnerships, an impressive volunteer base, and mutually beneficial community programs Habitat for Humanity of Eagle County is meeting an important need in the High Country Region.