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Volunteers Help Flood Victims Get New Homes At 3 Habitat Build Sites

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - A new home is very close to becoming a reality for a couple who was displaced by the September 2013 flooding in Lyons.

The couple and their family lost their rental property in Lyons when the floods hit and have been living in subsidized housing situations since.

"We've selected them for this home and they're actually helping to build this home as part of their 'sweat equity' toward their downpayment for purchasing it from us," said Flatirons Habitat for Humanity spokeswoman Susan Lythgoe.

The home is one of four being built by Habitat for Humanity in the Wonderland neighborhood in North Boulder, and another of those homes will also house flood victims.

will hauser
CBS4's Jamie Leary interviews Will Hauser with Habitat for Humanity (credit: CBS)

Habitat for Humanity is leading a Build-a-Thon this week, and approximately 100 workers from AmeriCorps are working on the homes, in addition to 10 other homes under construction in Longmont and Berthoud.

Habitat for Humanity site manager Will Hauser said the families who are selected to live in these homes must meet a certain requirement.

"Some of the families, they all are local, they either live in Boulder County or in Boulder proper. They all live and work in Boulder. It is part of our requirement for family selection for them to live and work here. The houses, some of them have been affected by floods, they simply want an affordable place to live, they want to stay where they work and just enjoy it," said Hauser.

Lythgoe says Flatirons Habitat for Humanity has been helping victims of the devastating floods for years.

"We started just a few months after the floods and started with critical home repair in Boulder and Boulder County and about a year-and-a-half ago we started doing new home construction to replace homes in Jamestown that were lost during the floods and for whom neither homeowners insurance nor flood insurance covered the damage," Lythgoe said.

Hudson Heatly, a spokeswoman for AmeriCorps, said they feel compelled to help Coloradans who are still struggling several years after the Colorado floods.

habitat for humanity
(credit: CBS)

"Our members come together for a full year of service," Heatly said. "They themselves are not just volunteers but they're also leading and engaging other volunteers in the Habitat work sites and increasing the capacity for Habitat affiliates to serve more families and engage more folks in the community."

Hauser said Boulder County needs more affordable housing and the chance to rebuild in the wake of the flooding is the perfect opportunity.

"It's nice to find, especially in Colorado, that live-work balance. Boulder definitely has a need for affordable housing. We have families, police officers, teachers… everyone wants to live where they work. They don't want to have a long commute. They don't want to spend most of their time in their car," said Hauser. "At the end of the day they want to be able to leave and enjoy the area that we live in. I mean, it's Boulder, so all the trails, hiking, everything."

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