Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC), serving both rural and urban Colorado – with full-cycle services when purchasing a home, including Home Buyer Education and Financial Fitness education. Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) started as a derivative of the Colorado Migrant Council in 1971 to address intolerable living conditions and the lack of adequate housing for both migrant and seasonal farm workers in rural Colorado. CRHDC has evolved into a full scale housing and economic development corporation serving both rural and urban Colorado – addressing housing needs as well as self-sufficiency. Today, families and individuals receive full-cycle services when purchasing a home, including Home Buyer Education and Financial Fitness education. Committed to helping families and households across Colorado, CRHDC has expanded its services to include foreclosure counseling and prevention and has been a leader in the movement to utilize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) model to purchase and rehab foreclosed properties, eventually returning them to home ownership.
Colorado - Statewide
Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) started as a derivative of the Colorado Migrant Council in 1971 to address intolerable living conditions and the lack of adequate housing for both migrant and seasonal farm workers in rural Colorado. CRHDC has evolved into a full scale housing and economic development corporation serving both rural and urban Colorado – addressing housing needs as well as self-sufficiency. Today, families and individuals receive full-cycle services when purchasing a home, including Home Buyer Education and Financial Fitness education.
Committed to helping families and households across Colorado, CRHDC has expanded its services to include foreclosure counseling and prevention and has been a leader in the movement to utilize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) model to purchase and rehab foreclosed properties, eventually returning them to home ownership. In some areas where inflated housing costs had diminished the supply of affordable housing and priced working families out of the market, the market correction and the current wave of foreclosed properties has created a window of opportunity during which the availability of affordable housing can be increased while neighborhoods that would have been strained under the burden of foreclosures can be stabilized. Having CHC as a resource for financing these transactions has been especially valuable.
Community Housing Capital (CHC) has been a leader in responding to these opportunities in many ways. From providing guidance on policy to aligning tools with regulations and requirements, CHC ensures that NeighborWorks® organizations that have the capacity and experience to engage in this line of business can seize the opportunity.
“The timing of draws and access to an adequate amount of capital that will revolve as properties are purchased, readied for sale or lease, and occupied or sold is critical to successfully accessing and deploying the resources of both NSP and the National Community Stabilization Trust program,” explains David U. Landis, CHC Chief Operating Officer. “CRHDC has been a network leader in the arena of self-help housing, even prior to the foreclosure crisis, so they are especially well positioned to apply what they already know and to carry out a strong expanded program,” Landis said.
“Providing affordable housing requires a strong financial partner; we certainly have that with CHC,” said Al Gold, Executive Director of CRHDC. “We’ve had a long standing relationship with Community Housing Capital. They have been very flexible and instrumental in getting projects off the ground and continually step up to the plate when local lenders were unable to finance for our needs.” Recent concepts made possible by CHC financing include ‘Self Help Housing’ (SHH) and a new ‘Lease to Own Program’(LEO).
When CRHDC breaks ground on a new housing site, a construction manager oversees multiple construction sites at once, as neighbors-to-be provide sweat equity for one another’s homes. As many as ten families work together insulating and caulking these homes, painting both interiors and exteriors, staining baseboards and hanging windows. They develop new skills and lasting relationships.
SHH allows participants to purchase a new home with a low-interest mortgage that requires no down payment. The success of the program is attributed to the sweat equity model and the sense of commitment that residents develop for both the community and the organization that made their home possible. Over 1600 such homes have been developed by CRHDC across Colorado.
“Each SHH participant is provided with technical assistance, supervisory help for the construction work as well as our guidance for the overall construction process,” says Gold. “CHC provides the funding for the land development. Then, as homes become complete, the home owners secure a mortgage to purchase the home from CRHDC. The proceeds of the sale are used to pay CHC. It works very, very well.”
CRHDC's Lease to Own program returns foreclosed properties to viable homes in neighborhoods by providing the opportunity for a potential owner to lease their home prior to home ownership. Participants with credit issues or who are otherwise unprepared for immediate purchase must apply, qualify and attend homeowner education classes as well as provide sweat equity that will reduce the price of their home, once they are ready to purchase. The qualified LEO participants are mortgage ready within one to two years. Gold says that CRHDC has coined LEO to represent “Learn, Earn, Own,” a philosophy that he believes will sustain ownership success.
Raising children as a single parent can be daunting. Without steady child support, raising two children and keeping her finances in the black was a daily struggle. Moving provided little relief to her, since Debra simply could not pull out of debt long enough to move to a housing situation that was affordable enough to get out of debt, let alone save. The high utility bills that come along with many older rental homes with outdated systems and leaky windows further contributed to her financial distress. With bankruptcy in her past, she expected a difficult – if not impossible – journey to achieve home ownership one day.
She heard about the Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC) Self Help project and decided to apply for the program. Accepted, she provided necessary paperwork, became qualified and worked hard to complete all the required construction tasks as she even helped to build her own home.
Self Help homes utilize a mix of qualified, contractors and volunteer labor teams of future home owners to assist in the building process, which helps keep building costs down while providing valuable experience and connectivity to the home. Debra participated with six other future owners; together they helped construct neighboring homes in a community they helped build.
Seven concrete foundations were poured and ready for participants to tar as they began their journey on June 17, 2009. In a well-timed sequence, Debra and the team completed a task followed by subcontractors stepping in to complete the skilled tasks, such as framing the house, sheet-rocking, texturing, plumbing or installing electrical. Debra and the team worked between completion of the contractor tasks, painting, shingling or staining trim. When one house was finished with a particular step, they’d collectively move to the next. Once all had a step completed, they’d begin the circuit again for the next task, together as a team.
“What a great learning experience this has been for me,” Debra said. “After raising my children in a cold home, I just love my warm, wonderful new home.” Today she enjoys a three bedroom, two bathroom home with fresh new carpeting, linoleum as well as ample cabinets and appliances. From her patio, Debra views Mt. Blanca. “It feels wonderful,” Debra said. “I was so excited when I moved in; now I can say, ‘oh, it’s actually mine.’” Additionally, she said of her children’s help during the construction, “I told my children, this is my Mother’s Day gift for the rest of your lives.”