New homeowner sought for Habitat for Humanity house

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By The Staff

The Habitat for Humanity of Española and Los Alamos is looking for its next homeowner.
Yvonne Maestas, director of operations, said the newest home will be located on N.M. 30, which runs through the Santa Clara Pueblo.
This will be the eighth Habitat for Humanity house, Maestas said.
The seventh home was able to be occupied just before the holidays.
Habitat for Humanity offered the new home owner a great gift.
“The wonderful thing about Habitat is we build homes with families or individuals and that’s certainly nothing like a typical home construction and that is part of why the home is so inexpensive,” Maestas said.
“It’s so exciting to see the homeowners’ mortgage be typically half of what they paid in rent. They paying back exactly what it cost to build the home. It’s a 30 year mortgage so the payments are always affordable,” she said.
Other Habitat for Humanity Houses are cropping up throughout the state.
For instance, eighth Habitat for Humanity home in San Juan County was dedicated Saturday morning to the family who will soon be calling it home.
Beverly Charley and her daughter, Kiara,9, will move into the new home on Yucca Avenue once the city issues the location an occupancy permit, which was expected to be finalized this week.
“Because of her military service, and that she had no place other than her mother’s floor to live for a couple years, there was no question that (the Charleys) were the right choice,” said Joe Morris, the president of the board of trustees for Tres Rios Habitat for Humanity, the San Juan County chapter.
The 1,400 square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home took nearly 18 months to complete with the help of about 150 volunteers.
The home cost about $50,000 to build and was appraised at $120,000, Morris said.
“It’s just mind-boggling to see the amount of work that gets done,” Morris said. “It really makes you proud of the people you live with.”
The Charleys will be the second family on the block living in a Habitat for Humanity home.
In order to be considered for a Habitat for Humanity home a family must make less than 50 percent of a community’s median household income.
After a committee selects a family to occupy a Habitat home, the household members have to put in at least 200 hours of service on the home construction and pay a reduced rent, of about $450 per month, to live in the home, Morris said.
Charley put in more than 350 hours of work to help complete the house, said construction leader Bill Brandon.
“I tried not to miss a day,” Charley said. “I figured if they could be here I could be here myself.”
Charley works for the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services where she helps returning veterans find resources and employment.
“We’re so used to being in a confined space,” Charley said. “Now (Kiara) has a room to play with her toys.”
Kiara was particularly cheery at the dedication ceremony as she passed out cake to the 40 or so volunteers who stopped by the see the finished projected.
“I’m Kiara and this is my house,” she said while introducing herself to the visitors.
Brandon said the plot of land the Charley house sits on was the final land parcel the local Habitat for Humanity owned. The organization is currently looking to purchase or be given land for the next home site.
And when the organization starts building a new home, it will have another volunteer.
“I’ve never seen so many people come together as one ... I want to be part of the next house,” Charley said. “This house will give us new dreams to fulfill.”
For more information about, call  the local Habitat for Humanity office at  505-747-2690.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Associated  Press contributed to this report.