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A home for Adam

Enlisting volunteers and harnessing discounted materials has always been the key ingredient to building a Habitat for Humanity house. Even then, it’s often a challenge to make the numbers work.

Scott Gilbert, president of Habitat’s Roaring Fork Valley Chapter, said the organization is trying to raise money to cover a “gap” in funding for its most recent project, a home for the Adam Lavender family (see related story, A1).

The house will cost about $225,000 to build, Gilbert said. Habitat is spending more than usual because of Lavender’s special requirements. An elevator is needed so he can access the entire house. Habitat Roaring Fork is also following its goal of making every house highly energy-efficient. A $19,000 grant from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency will help it achieve some but not all of the “green” elements. The home is expected to be the first in the Roaring Fork Valley to receive Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating, the highest given, Gilbert said.



The house’s green features will include exceeding the building code for insulation, using less lumber because of the design, incorporating solar photovoltaic, incorporating windows that use wood from managed forests, installing LED lighting and water-saving showers and toilets.

In addition, the house has a high “walkability” factor because it is situated close to schools, a bus stop and shopping so the Lavenders don’t have to spend time driving everywhere.



The house is being sold to the Lavenders for $150,000, because Habitat for Humanity bases the price on what the family can afford, not the construction price. That leaves a shortfall of $75,000. The mortgage will be assigned to Alpine Bank and Habitat will receive $108,000 in cash that it can use immediately, adding $42,000 to its loss. That leaves a total shortfall of $117,000. The nonprofit organization aims to avoid dipping into its reserve on individual projects.

The shortfall on home construction would be greater if Habitat couldn’t gather an army of volunteers. The Lavenders have many friends in the Carbondale area and a lot of people they don’t know have learned of their plight and offered to help.

“Their friends call up and say, ‘When can we get on the job site?’” said Geneva Farr, volunteer coordinator for Habitat For Humanity Roaring Fork.

A crew of nine from Coldwell Banker Mason and Morse was at the job site in Carbondale on Thursday.

Shari Nova, a property manager of the real estate firm, said she has known the Lavenders for a couple of years. She learned of Adam’s accident during a recent fundraiser and later learned that Habitat For Humanity was building a house for the family. She personally wanted to volunteer time and also pitched the idea to her office mates in Carbondale. They also wanted to pitch in. They tackled a number of tasks assigned by the Habitat supervisor on the site.

To raise the remaining $117,000 to break even on the project, Habitat is seeking cash donations. Donors have the options of “buying” a brick that will be used in the Lavender home construction and having a special message engraved. Habitat also seeks discounts or contributions of material from supplies.

To learn more about how to volunteer or contribute, visit http://www.habitatroaringfork.org or call 970-948-8264.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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