Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is building 20 affordable, for-sale homes in the Havana Heights neighborhood in Aurora, at 10810 East Evans Ave. Mountain View United Church (MVUC) is generously leasing the land for these homes to Habitat Metro Denver in a land lease agreement. All of the homes will be sold with affordable mortgages through Habitat’s homeownership program.
Click or tap on each question to see the answer.
A: Habitat Metro Denver will build 20, owner-occupied, affordable homes for working families who make ~50-80% of the area median income. The units include three- and four-bedroom homes with 1.5 – 2.5 baths. Each unit will have two dedicated parking spaces, and some units will also have garages. To determine the style, type, and number of homes to be built on the property, MVUC and Habitat Metro Denver considered several factors including: (i) building the homes so they can be purchased affordably, (ii) ensuring the homes are livable for families, and (iii) fitting the homes into the context of the neighborhood.
A: Mountain View United Church has been a fixture in the Havana Heights neighborhood since 1974 and is committed to serving its community. In 2020, MVUC set out on a mission to use the land adjacent to their church to create affordable homeownership opportunities for hard working families in the area. They requested proposals from local building partners, and selected Habitat Metro Denver as its partner to build affordable for-sale homes on the property. MVUC formed a collaborative partnership with Habitat Metro Denver in 2019 and worked with the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and the Congregation Land Campaign to create the site plan for these 20 homes.
1 in 3 households in Aurora are housing cost-burdened, meaning they are one health emergency or car repair away from possibly losing their housing. Many hard-working, essential employees in Aurora – like nurses, teachers, first responders – cannot afford to live in the communities where they work. Recognizing the urgent housing needs in Aurora, MVUC is committed to providing opportunities for families to plant roots, find stability, and contribute to the broader community.
A: Upon forming its partnership with Habitat Metro Denver, MVUC gathered input from the community in the Havana Heights neighborhood through several community meetings. They then drafted a site plan and began a formal entitlement process with the City of Aurora. After receiving input from the community, and analyzing the property, MVUC and Habitat applied to rezone the land from R-1 to R-2, to allow these homes to be built and ensure the project would meet all city requirements. The property went through all required steps required by the City of Aurora for a rezoning.
A: Mountain View Community Homes will be sold to families who earn between 50% and 80% of the area median income. The pricing of the homes will be dependent on the size of the families who occupy them. For example, for a family of four to qualify, their household income cannot exceed $94,650. Through Habitat’s homeownership program, homeowners have affordable mortgage payments that are set to not exceed 30% of the family’s gross monthly income.
A: Our homeowners typically include single-parent households, and many are teachers, administrative assistants, restaurant workers, drivers, health care workers, and many other hardworking, essential members of our community. These hardworking families have steady income, low debt, and do not currently own a home. They partner with Habitat to purchase a home affordably, begin building equity, and gain stability.
A: MVUC is leasing the land to Habitat Metro Denver. By leasing the land to Habitat, MVUC retains ownership and the homeowners only pay for the cost of their home, not the land itself. Homeowners are able to keep costs down while still building shared equity. The land lease model also ensures the homes will be affordable for families who purchase the homes in the future.
A: As stipulated on its deed, this land is held in trust by Ecumenical Ministries, Inc (EMI), “to be used, kept, and maintained by ‘Mountain View United Church’ for worship and other purposes of its ministry as a particular church of Ecumenical Ministries, Inc., subject to its bylaws.” EMI unanimously approved the proposed development, and has stated that it “is steadfastly committed to maintaining ownership of the land and will not approve any sale or transfer of the land ownership to any external party or organization.”
A: Habitat Metro Denver will begin construction at Mountain View Community Homes in October 2023. Construction is scheduled to conclude in late 2025/early 2026. Habitat Metro Denver staff, volunteers, and contractors will access the site during this time.
A: Our staff and volunteers will park on the street near the site, only in public parking areas. When contractors need to access the site for special deliveries or activities, they will park out of the way of traffic on E Evans Ave or S Joliet St. There may be some short, temporary lane closures for deliveries.
A: Habitat Metro Denver is committed to completing work with minimal disturbance to neighbors. We will do our best to maintain noise and activity that does not exceed the norm for home construction projects. Construction will occur primarily Monday through Saturday, 7 am-5 pm.
A: Please call 720-370-5723 to speak to a member of the Habitat Metro Denver staff. The staff at Mountain View United Church are not able to answer questions about the construction process.
A: Volunteers are a vital part of Habitat’s mission and construction model. Volunteers are part of our labor force, which helps offset our overall costs and allows us to build homes affordably. Volunteers also contribute to the community atmosphere surrounding Habitat build sites. More than 15,000 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds support Habitat Metro Denver each year.
A: Research shows that, on the whole, affordable homes do not negatively impact the property values of neighboring market-rate homes. When market-rate properties are evaluated, homes in the area that are designated as affordable (income-restricted) are not considered in the same category, and thus do not affect the valuation of market-rate homes. In some cases, affordable homes may even stabilize or increase nearby property values and contribute to stronger neighborhoods.
A: No. Habitat homeowners do not use government subsidies to purchase their homes. To purchase a home, Habitat home buyers must demonstrate that they have low debt and stable income to afford to pay an affordable mortgage. Buyers also invest 100 hours of sweat equity and complete homeownership and financial education classes as part of their partnership with Habitat. Volunteer labor, private donations, corporate sponsorships, faith sponsorships, and government grants help make Habitat home construction affordable.
A: All of the homes on this site will include dedicated, off-street parking spaces for each unit. Some units will also have garages. A traffic study was conducted as part of the site planning process, and this study found no negative impact on the traffic on neighboring streets. The site plan meets all city traffic and parking requirements.