Rifle Habitat for Humanity house is all about community coming together | PostIndependent.com

Rifle Habitat for Humanity house is all about community coming together

Heidi Rice
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted PhotoMaria Cornejo (in the blue) helps raise the walls on her Habitat for Humanity home being built at Coal Mine Avenue in north Rifle. Cornejo was chosen as an applicant for one of three single family homes being built. Applications for the remaining two homes are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19.

RIFLE, Colorado – During the weekdays, you can often find Maria Cornejo swinging by the jobsite and dropping off lunch or treats to the guys who are building her home.

On the weekends, you might find her helping to build the house, along with a number of volunteers.

Cornejo was selected as a recipient for one of the latest Habitat for Humanity Homes Roaring Fork Valley which is being built in Rifle.

Earlier this year in the spring, Habitat completed a duplex unit on 17th Street in Rifle. The group is now building three single family homes on Coal Mine Avenue off Highway 13 in north Rifle, with the help of community volunteers and local businesses.

“We have a tremendous little group from Rifle,” said Kristen Wilmes, executive director for Habitat for Humanity-Roaring Fork Valley. “They keep coming out multiple times per week. It’s the best turnout we’ve seen for any of our projects.”

Kuersten Construction has been instrumental in helping to build the Habitat for Humanity homes, ensuring that the projects are affordable and completed with the utmost care, Wilmes said.

Along with Kuersten Construction and the community volunteer help, the projects have also received help from inmates at the Rifle Correctional Center who come out twice a week to help.

A common myth about Habitat for Humanity Homes is that they are “given away.” This is simply not true, Wilmes said.

“The recipients have to put in 250 hours of building time – or sweat equity,” Wilmes said. “The homes are sold for $130,000 with no interest and at a 20-year mortgage. They are deed-restricted and if the owners sell, Habitat for Humanity has the first rights to buy the home back.”

Cornejo, single mother with two boys, was selected as a partner family with Habitat for Humanity-Roaring Fork Valley based on their housing need, an ability to repay a no-interest 20 year mortgage and a willingness to put 250 hours of sweat equity into the construction of the home and legal residency.

She applied to HFH-RFV in hopes of providing a better life for her two young sons (4 and 2), following an unexpected divorce and costly health issues. Currently, she is living in a bedroom at her parents’ home with her two young sons, along with other family members.

“I am eager to have space for my two boys to run around and play like little boys should, without being in such a tight space,” she said.

When not on the Habitat jobsite, Cornejo is the smiling face that many encounter as they come in to the Grand River Medical Center in Rifle.

The Rifle community has been instrumental in making dreams of home ownership a reality for Habitat for Humanity partner families, Wilmes said. Local businesses that have made a difference include Wells Fargo Bank, Starbuck’s, St. Mary’s Church and the Rifle Chamber Women’s group, just to name a few.

“These teams have come to the site and built for the day alongside their peers as well as our partner families and other regular volunteers,” Wilmes said. “Without the outpouring of community support, these projects would not be possible. We are continually delighted by the new partnerships that we have been able to create through our involvement in the Rifle community. It truly takes a community to build a home!”

For more information, visit http://www.habitatroaringfork.org or email info2habitatroaringfork.org.

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