Habitat Looking to Help Larimer Residents Who Lost Homes to Floods

Loveland Habitat for Humanity has been working with Larimer County’s long term flood recovery group since last September’s deluge wreaked havoc throughout the region, including in Boulder and Weld counties and points beyond.

But the well-known charitable, sweat equity homebuilder is now moving to actively solicit qualified people who lost their homes to the floods, primarily along the Big Thompson River, who might be interested in a Habitat replacement.

There are qualifications, including having lived in Larimer for at least a year, earning between 30 and 80 percent of the median area income ($22,050 - $58,800 for a family of four), and having all previous mortgage issues resolved. That last could be trickiest, as many are still dealing with mortgage companies, insurance companies and waiting to see where there property lies in the county’s re-designated flood zones.

But for some Larimer residents, this will be a golden opportunity.

“I just believe there are so many people out there who would qualify,” said Gwen Stephenson, executive director of Loveland Habitat for Humanity. “Many of the people who lost their homes lived in Thompson Canyon. They’re very self-sufficient people, and they’re still getting over that loss, and reaching out for help from anyone can be hard.”

Loveland Habitat is part of the larger statewide organization Rebuild Colorado, which has 100 homes scheduled for the current fiscal year. So the possibilities in Larimer County aren’t infinite.

But with flood-related community development block grants available from the federal government and with some building lots already in place, it could also work very well for interested families who qualify. As always with Habitat, 100 hours of sweat equity will be required of adults.

With the first-year anniversary of the floods less than two months off, and with most of the state having long since moved on, it’s important to remember that recovery is still very much underway for those most heavily impacted.

“It isn’t resolved by any means,” said Stephenson. “People are still working through so much. There are lots of challenges ahead for people who were affected by the floods. It can take two to three years or more. It’s important to continue to tell the story.”

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