Habitat's second home

Family has been identified, now local organization needs a lot to build the house on

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— Habitat for Humanity has identified a second local family for whom it would like to build a home here this summer.

Now, all the nonprofit organization needs is a suitable building lot.

Habitat of Routt County successfully completed its first house in October and the Marchman family moved into its new home.

The family selection committee of Routt County Habitat for Humanity recently selected Ellen Clare and her two children: Cody, 7, and Ty, 5, to be the next Habitat family in Steamboat.

However, Habitat board President Larry Ohman said the organization has not yet secured a building lot. Habitat has hopes it will realize as many as three lots if the new West End village affordable housing development goes forward. But it's not clear if that will happen this year.

"We are inquiring about possibilities, but we don't have anything in hand yet," Ohman said.

Ohman said Habitat's goal in Steamboat has been to purchase building lots for $50,000, a scarce commodity in the local real estate market.

Habitat treasurer Linda Haltom said the organization has $116,000 in a revolving land fund that was established through a challenge grant of $50,000 from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The Regional Affordable Living Foundation is working with Habitat and YVCF to build and maintain the fund, Haltom said.

The Clare home, when it is built, will not duplicate the Marchman home, Ohman said. It will be designed to take the needs of the family and the requirements of the lot in mind. However, Ohman said the Steamboat chapter of Habitat will take some lessons from construction of the Marchman home and keep things simple for volunteer carpenters. The next house will not have as steeply pitched roof as the Marchman home Ohman said.

Clare moved to Steamboat four years ago from Pennsylvania. She is employed by a local architectural firm as a designer/drafts person and also works as a food server in a Steamboat restaurant.

"This is really a dream come true," Clare said.

"Having my own house will enable my children and myself to make Steamboat our home for the long term and to improve our quality of life."

A great deal of work remains to be done until Clare and her children can move into Habitat's second home in Steamboat. Clare herself is required to participate in the construction with a minimum of 200 work hours.

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