Habitat for Humanity is helping to address a need for affordable housing with its first two projects in Douglas County.
“More people are starting to understand the importance of affordable housing in growing and thriving communities,” said …
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Habitat for Humanity is helping to address a need for affordable housing with its first two projects in Douglas County.“More people are starting to understand the importance of affordable housing in growing and thriving communities,” said Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.The Habitat affiliate was founded in 1979 — the first west of the Mississippi — and has served more than 700 families in the area. But renovations begun on two condos in Castle Rock on March 16 will be the first Habitat housing project in the history of Douglas County.Former Castle Rock Town Councilmember Clark Hammelman reached out to Habitat 18 months ago after acknowledging that Douglas County was booming because of development but had a shortage of affordable housing.“One of the key elements to the success of a town on the economic side is having a wide range of workers, and we need to have housing for those people,” Hammelman said while taking a break from uninstalling a kitchen sink at the renovation site March 16. “(Habitat) seemed to make sense from an economic-development perspective as well as a good thing to do for those people who want to be a part of our community but can’t afford the housing here.”A pair of two-bedroom condos on Gilbert Way in Castle Rock are undergoing renovations, including installation of new appliances, flooring, paint, cabinets, countertops and sinks. The project is expected to be complete at the end of April.Habitat has historically focused on acquiring land to buy and build new single-family homes, but with real estate prices surging, Lafferty said Habitat has been looking for new solutions to bring affordable housing to Douglas County.“As the market has gotten more and more challenging to find affordable land, we have expanded how we service families by acquiring existing homes, doing renovations and then selling them to low-income families,” Lafferty said.No other projects are presently scheduled for Douglas County, but Lafferty said Habitat is looking for future opportunities.New Hope Presbyterian Church in Castle Rock jumped at the chance for its volunteers to work on a building project close to home. The church has been partnering with the Denver-based Habitat group for a number of years to work on projects throughout the metro area.“We’ve talked about trying to get this kind of housing, these kinds of projects in the Castle Rock area because we know there’s a need for that down here,” said Castle Rock resident Glenn Greene, who has been volunteering with Habitat for more than 10 years.Greene said that with the development of the Promenade at Castle Rock — a 166-acre project under construction that will feature retail, dining and more — there will “be people who work here and would love to live down here, but can’t afford it.”The retired engineer got involved with Habitat because he was looking for a way to give back to the community. He said it’s just one of those things he keeps coming back to.“It’s a blast,” he said. “It’s really good to do this kind of work and know that you’re helping people that really need help and that you’re giving them that foot up so they can really progress forward in life.”
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