Denver, CO

City sells five lots to Habitat Metro Denver for $50

David Heitz

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Habitat Metro Denver

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) Denver City Council sold five parcels of land Monday to the Denver Habitat for Humanity affiliate for $10 apiece.

Habitat Metro Denver agreed to build affordable housing on the land. Each site will include a single-family home and an accessory dwelling unit if permissible.

The parcels are at 1049 Stuart Street, 1060 Newton Street, 1076 Meade Street, 1077 Meade Street, and 1086 Meade Street in Council District 3. Habitat must build at least six units, according to the contract.

A covenant will be attached to the properties guaranteeing they remain affordable housing for 90 years. Federal guidelines require Habitat to sell the homes to people making about $50,000 per year or less for singles or $58,000 or less for couples.

$13.5 million donation expands Habitat's work

In March, philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott donated $13.5 million to the Denver Habitat for Humanity. The gift was part of her foundation's $451 million donation to Habitat for Humanity affiliates nationwide.

"This is the largest single donation in our history and will have a momentum-building impact on our work," Heather Lafferty, CEO of Habitat Metro Denver, announced in a news release. "It is a vote of confidence in the collective work of many people – homeowners, staff, board, donors, volunteers, and community partners. This gift will allow us to dream even bigger about accelerating our production, serve as a catalyst for equity and systems change, and ultimately, create more homeownership opportunities in our community."

Average Habitat home in metro Denver costs $238,000

According to Habitat Metro Denver, nearly half of Colorado renters spend 30 percent or more of their income on housing costs. In metro Denver, the median sales price for a single-family home reached $615,000 in February 2022, a 20 percent hike over 2021. Habitat Metro Denver's average first mortgage was $238,000 in 2021.

"Even as we celebrate this gift, we are doubling down on our commitment to meet this moment and support those struggling to find an affordable home," Lafferty said.

"Too many people have been left out of the wealth-building opportunity that homeownership provides. We aim to change that."

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

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