Self-help housing possible in Hayden |

Self-help housing possible in Hayden

Nick Foster

Building home in Hayden may be thousands of dollars cheaper than expected for qualified people willing to lend a hand.

Ellen Hoj, director of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, will be at the Hayden Town Board meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday to discuss “Hands-On Housing,” a program that offers subsidized housing costs and loan programs for homebuyers who can help with the building process.

The program will be available in Hayden only if people show interest, Hoj said. Enough participants to build six to eight single-family homes are required to start the program in Hayden. Hoj said she has looked at properties including several lots in the Golden Meadows subdivision.

“This is a perfect program for teachers, or people who may have the summer off, or even couples or families with one income where one family member can come to the site to help build,” Hoj said.

RALF’s self-help program provides residents the opportunity to own their homes by requiring them to provide labor equal to 65 percent of the work necessary to build the homes. But no construction experience is needed to participate. A professional construction supervisor will be on site to make sure everything is up to code, Hoj said.

The program is open to people living or working in Routt County making between 50 percent and 80 percent of median income and meeting other guidelines. It has been implemented successfully at West End Village in Steamboat Springs, where seven homes are under way, Hoj said.

“We have single moms out there working and doing great,” Hoj said. “They’re crawling on the roofs and everything.”

A $390,000 federal grant from the Department of Agriculture mandates that RALF build 24 homes in 24 months. RALF must build another 17 units by September 2005 to meet the restrictions of the grant.

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