Habitat gives keys to its first family of 2010

Maleah Montoya, 1, holds the keys for her family’s new home, the first set of keys given to a family this year by Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County.


Susette Montoya had signed the paperwork on her family’s first mortgage, only to become ill.

A day later, her bout with the spring sniffles failed to dampen her spirits during her first few hours Saturday as owner of a three-bedroom spread at 540 Park Ave.

Under the terms of the home loan, Montoya and her husband, Carlos, both 25, will pay zero interest on a 25-year mortgage and save roughly $200 per month from what they paid for rent of another local home.

“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Susette Montoya said, holding a Bible presented to the family by staff with Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County.

The dedication marked the 45th placement of a family in a new or remodeled home by Habitat for Humanity of Mesa County, and the first this year, according to the organization’s executive director, Amy Rogers.

Habitat is scheduled to break ground next month on another home in Palisade, and Habitat staff last week launched work on a 52-home subdivision at 30 and D roads, which is expected to fill up over the next decade.

“We’re on a roll,” Rogers said with a smile.

The Montoyas applied twice for a Habitat home before they were approved. The couple’s 500 hours of sweat equity included Susette working in a data-entry job at Habitat’s main office, and both husband and wife laboring on the home with volunteers, beginning in August.

“Remarkably, there was no bloodshed,” joked Don Johnson, who was among the Habitat volunteers involved in the home’s remodel. “When you get a husband and wife together, throw in electrical work and sharp tools, you can expect injuries.”

Johnson and company added a laundry room and a half bath, applied new paint and installed new flooring and cabinets in a home that Habitat purchased from a local woman after she had been moved to a local nursing home.

The remodeling of the roughly 1,200-square-foot home was completed two weeks ago, Johnson said,

“Every so often (Carlos and Susette) agreed to disagree about some details, but they had the common goal of the house,” he said.


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