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Durango approves $1.88 million DOLA block grant for mortgage assistance

161 people housed in over 76 homes during 2019-23 grant contract period
Durango City Council approved $1,881,400 in funding that will pass through the city to HomesFund for mortgage assistance to families. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Durango City Council approved a $1.88 million allocation to the city’s housing fund earlier this month that will help the city’s nonprofit partner HomesFund provide mortgage assistance to families.

The city received notice of a Community Development Block Grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs last year, and then received the grant agreement at the end of last year, Durango Housing Innovation Manager Eva Henson said at the Jan. 16 City Council meeting.

The CDBG funding totals $1,881,400. The city functions as a pass-through organization from the federal and state governments to HomesFund, a housing assistance group that hosts free homebuyer education courses for prospective homebuyers, offers homeownership advice and home assessments, and provides mortgage assistance.

Henson said the CDBG funding will primarily assist HomesFund in providing mortgage assistance loans to families earning less than 80% of the area median income in La Plata County.

That means a four-person household with an annual income of $83,120 would be eligible for mortgage assistance, and a two-person household earning $66,450 would be eligible, according to area median income data on the DOLA website.

Mayor Melissa Youssef said the grant will increase the number of applicants who qualify for mortgage assistance to receive it and “continue to bridge the affordability gap and to allow more opportunity for residents to build wealth accumulation, financial security and stability.”

Henson said the city of Durango has used the CDBG for HomesFund since 2012.

HomesFund Executive Director Lisa Bloomquist said in an email to The Durango Herald that $1,979,710 was provided to families between April 2019 and June 2023, the last CDBG contract duration, resulting in 76 home purchases and housing 161 people. The total cost of the homes totals $19,281,504.

“Since HomesFund began providing Mortgage/Downpayment Assistance to low- and moderate-income homebuyer households, we have provided $16.215 million of Mortgage/Downpayment Assistance to 405 households for the purchase of $97 million of affordable and sustainable homes in Southwest Colorado,” she said.

HomesFund has also provided homebuyer education to 3,013 households and housing counseling to another 1,931 households, she said. Over 1,052 individuals or families went on to purchase a home after receiving education or counseling services.

“In a region with fewer than 100,000 people total, this is a significant accomplishment,” she said.


A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the city of Durango directly allocated CDBG funds to HomesFund. Rather, the city is the pass-through government organization for the funding awarded to HomesFund.

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