A new ReStore, which helps support construction of affordable housing by Habitat for Humanity, will go up in Grandview, west of the Three Springs intersection.
Rachel Taylor-Saghie, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County, said the nonprofit would like to open the doors on the new ReStore, which sells donated furniture, appliances and building materials, both new and used, to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building affordable housing in the county.
The driving factor behind the move was an opportunity to purchase land for the ReStore to escape annual rent increases at the current location in Bodo Industrial Park, where rent is currently $6,800. In addition, Taylor-Saghie said Habitat also pays about $940 a month in utility bills and $300 in repairs and upkeep of the shop.
“I was afraid in a couple of years, there would be no profit in the ReStore. We needed an opportunity to create a sustainable model,” she said.
The move, purchase of land and building of a new store in Three Springs was made possible by a of U.S. Department Agriculture Community Facility Loan of $2,458,000, with an interest rate of 3.38 percent. The loan has a 38-year term for repayment.
The building will have 8,000 square feet for the ReStore and an additional 2,000 square feet for office space that Habitat for Humanity can rent out to other nonprofit groups.
A capital campaign to help pay off the loan is also underway, Saghie-Taylor said, and now is an ideal time for donations, as the more money the campaign raises now, the stronger financial position the nonprofit is in setting terms to pay back the USDA loan.
Donations to the capital campaign can be sent to Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County; 129 Girard St., Suite E; Durango, CO 81303. Checks for the capital campaign should note “restricted to capital campaign,” Taylor-Saghie said.
Ownership of its building and land, Taylor-Saghie said, was the only way to get a handle on increasing costs and to give the nonprofit a chance to build equity, which eventually could be leveraged to help Habitat for Humanity build more affordable houses.
“We don’t want to lose our mission because we can’t outrun the real estate market,” she said.
Habitat for Humanity is building in Fox Farm Village, a 50-lot subdivision in Bayfield, Taylor-Saghie said. Available lots are down to 12 in Fox Farm, so the nonprofit is beginning to examine future affordable lots upon which it can build homes.
The eventual build-out at Fox Farm and the need to find affordable lots for future building, she said, put some urgency in the move to put the ReStore on a sustainable financial foundation.
Habitat for Humanity plans to break ground on construction of a duplex in Fox Farm in May, with a scheduled completion date around Thanksgiving, Taylor-Sagie said.
The nonprofit uses a model in which homeowners, who are screened and must take educational classes on homeownership, pay 30 percent of their income as their monthly mortgage payment.
“Affordable housing is one of the biggest crises in our community. But the only builder addressing that need with product is Habitat for Humanity, and we do it without getting any support from the city or the county,” Taylor-Sagie said.