The Home Building and Rehabilitation Program provides an alternative to substandard, poverty housing for low-income families in El Paso County. Qualifying families earn 35%-80% of the area median income (AMI). For a family of four, the annual income range is between $28,560 and $65,300. Families must pay back their affordable mortgage; save for $2,000 down-payment/closing costs; and invest 200 hours of sweat equity into building their home. Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity selects our partner families according to (1) the need for affordable housing, (2) their willingness to partner, and (3) the ability to make the monthly mortgage payments.
All future homeowners complete over 15 hours of mandatory first-time homebuyer classes that include topics such as Money Management, Mortgage and Closing Documents, Estate Planning, Insurance, Protecting Your Assets, Being a Good Neighbor & HOAs, and Home Maintenance. As a result of this training and securing affordable housing, Habitat families rely less on food stamps and government financed medical care. We remain in close contact and are better able than a traditional lender to assist families if they experience challenging times.
Since our beginning in 1986, PPHFH counts an overall 94% success rate of families keeping their homes. The remaining 6% is a result of foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure for a variety of reasons. Some homeowners become unable to pay their mortgage, some families experience the death of a homeowner, and others are unable to keep up the maintenance and care of their home (a requirement of their mortgage). PPHFH stresses the importance of open communication so that we can provide the appropriate assistance, and in most situations, we can remedy the challenges that arise in keeping their home. In the case of repairs, we accept low-income family applications per their income and scope of project, and although we do not have a formal tracking mechanism to measure their success after the repairs, we can show family income and demographics, and what repairs were completed.
An impact study conducted by Habitat for Humanity of Colorado confirms the positive results of homeownership: 94% feel their lives have improved; 90% saw an improvement in their family's health; and 83% have more time for family activities. Nearly 90% of homeowners reported that their neighborhood felt safer than where they had lived before, and they feel their families have a better quality of life. We also measure success anecdotally. The stability of homeownership allows for a deeper sense of responsibility and security that could never be achieved through renting. Children tend to have better test scores in school and less behavioral problems. Habitat homeowners have shared that they feel fortunate to be able to pay property taxes, contributing to the economy of our community instead of relying on public assistance. In 2020 PPHFH homeowners paid a total of $129,764 in El Paso County property taxes, a reinvestment of dollars into our community.