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Habitat For Humanity Offers Home Repair Program For Westwood Residents

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) -- Habitat for Humanity is hoping more residents in the Westwood neighborhood will take them up on their offer for cheap home improvements.

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"We've been in the Globeville neighborhood for five years now; we've been in Elyria-Swansea for three years so folks that are used to seeing the work that Habitat does. We just started working in Westwood in June so sometimes it seems a little too good to be true, what do you mean I only have to pay 10 percent -- what's the catch?" said Rhea Oberst with Habitat for Humanity.

The Home Repair Program has now helped fix 200 homes over the life of the program, but only 14 homes in Westwood have taken part.

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"We help people repair their homes so that they can stay in them and do repairs they normally wouldn't be able to save up for," Oberst said.

"The door was put in yesterday. Brand new door with new framing, it will have a new security door with it," said Arnold Raymond as he described some of the improvements at his house. "There would be no way on my yearly income that I could do that type of work right away."

The program has income requirements and people must own their homes, but Theresa Spicer says the hurdles are low for a life-changing project.

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"It's worth it to get the outcome you're going to get," Spicer said. "Never been so happy to see a train come down."

Spicer had one tree trimmed, another removed, and an entire new fence for her backyard.

"I love this yard. When I'm home I'm back here, I'd say 85% of the time, back in the yard," but before her Habitat restoration her fence wasn't safe.

"I feel more safe, I feel like my dogs won't get loose," she said. "I couldn't afford it; it would have cost me thousands and thousands of dollars."

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The average improvement costs about $15,000 but homeowners only pay around 10 percent.

"It helps people be able to stay in their homes -- especially at a time when taxes are going up and it's more difficult for people to stay," said Oberst.

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Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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