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Habitat for Humanity house shaping up to strong start

Posted: Saturday, Jun 29th, 2013

A group of 11 teenagers and 4 adults from the Plymouth United Church of Christ from Fort Collins were joined with volunteers from the Alamosa area this past week to help make some strides in a new Habitat for Humanity house, which is being constructed on Ross Ave. in southern Alamosa.

Courier Sports Editor

ALAMOSA—Another Habitat for Humanity house is starting to take shape in southern Alamosa. This past week a group of 11 youth and four adults from the Plymouth United Church of Christ from Fort Collins made remarkable strides on the house.

This week-long adventure for the Fort Collins crew included four six-hour days of labor on the house. Some of the activities they did included working on the roof and placing shingles. They also did a lot of exterior work on the house making the house smooth and presentable; they laid out some electrical line and laid some soffit underlining.

“The volunteers from Alamosa are outstanding,” said one of the adult leaders, Anne Jordan. “It’s nice see them get 11 teenagers and put them all to work, no one was sitting around.”

There was time for some play for the group as they found themselves exploring the Great Sand Dunes, Zapata Falls and Splashland. They also made a trip out to San Luis where they enjoyed a Mexican dinner at the Covered Wagon restaurant before taking a tour of the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross. They were also able to meet the sculptor Huberto Maestas, who explained how he made the shrine.

According to Audrey Liu, Executive Director for San Luis Valley’s Habitat for Humanity, “Habitat works with folks who have been unable to obtain a mortgage through traditional lending sources (a bank or other mortgage company).”

“Applicant families contribute ‘sweat equity’ which is 500 hours (minimum) working on their home and other homes in the program, helping at various fundraisers and events, and volunteering in other ways with the organization. Sweat equity is the down payment on the home,” said Liu.

“Our homes are designed passive solarly, placing the main living spaces -- kitchen, living room -- on the south and east to receive the most benefit of solar gain to heat the spaces,” explained Lui. “We build our homes out of adobe bricks, one of the traditional building materials of our southwest area. It usually takes about 12-18 months to complete a home, which is funded by donations and built with volunteer labor.”

“We have been building in the San Luis Valley since 1994 and have served 17 households with affordable homeownership, 50 people who were under the age of 18,” finalized Lui.

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