Six homeowners in Alamosa and Monte Vista have recently moved into their new homes, thanks to their hard work and the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program, a USDA/Rural Development program administered by Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) that makes housing in the San Luis Valley affordable through "sweat equity."
Through the Self- Help program, homeowners work together as a group to build approximately 65% of their homes. This labor not only acts as the down payment, but can also substantially reduce the price of the home. Knowledge of construction is not required to participate in the program, but the program does require hard work and commitment. Jaime Lucero, one of the new homeowners said, “I put my blood, sweat and tears into building my dream home. I am going to do all I can to keep my home well maintained because my family and I put in a lot of hard work.”
Households work together on their homes, with each family contributing a minimum of 35 hours of labor per week for approximately 6-8 months. The homes are built simultaneously; no one moves in until all the homes are completed.
“There is more to the Self-Help program than merely building homes” says Jamie Lucero. “It’s also about building relationships with other families and learning construction skills. I learned how to use tools that I never thought I would ever use and I feel confident knowing that I can use the skills I learned to work on my home in the future.” Working together to build homes provides a great opportunity to create a strong sense of neighborhood and gives homeowners a sense of pride in your community.
Alamosa City Council member Charlie Griego stopped by to visit four of the homes, which are in his district. He noted the quality of the homes and the neighborhood that has been developed by Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation. “I really appreciate the work that you all have done here,” he said, “This neighborhood was once a place where trash accumulated and now it is a strong neighborhood with beautiful homes.”