After living with family for the past five years, Chris, Annie, and their two sons are excited to be buying and moving into a home of their own.
“Thank you, thank you,’’ Chris said about the new four-bedroom townhome the family is buying at Habitat Metro Denver’s Clara Brown Commons community in North Denver.
Chris, a former Jefferson County Park Ranger, was disabled in 2018 due to a severe genetic heart problem and the family had to move out of the park housing. He didn’t receive disability payments until last year.
Annie is a facility assistant at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, but her salary wasn’t enough to rent a house, so the family moved in with Chris’s parents. Chris and Annie sleep in the unfinished basement where the walls have mold from this spring’s rainstorms while their boys sleep upstairs on the second floor.
Annie heard about Habitat for Humanity at her job, and was thrilled when she and Chris were accepted a few months after applying. Her salary and Chris’s disability check will cover their affordable mortgage payment.
As part of the 100 hours of sweat equity required for a Habitat home, Annie learned to use a nail gun while working with Habitat staff. Chris organized donations at the Arvada ReStore. Their oldest son and Chris’s father also volunteered with Habitat.
“Our son has really enjoyed seeing what Habitat is doing for other people and he had fun working on the houses,” shares Annie.
The couple is also completing Habitat’s online classes on budgeting, home repairs, being a good neighbor, and using credit.
“People assume the Habitat homes are just a handout,” shares Annie. “I tell them there is a lot that goes into it, like the sweat equity, and that you must have a good job.”
“It will bring us closer to our boys because we’ll have our own space and a place to call our own.” shares Annie.
As they work on their Habitat partnership requirements, Chris and Annie talk about what it will be like to have a home of their own again. “We’ll be able to build equity,’’ shares Chris. “And it will be nice for our boys to be able to have friends over.”
“Our relationship with my in-laws will go back to normal,” shares Annie. “It will bring us closer to our boys because we’ll have our own space and a place to call our own.”