Prior to moving to her house, Reiko Mike had dreams of being a homeowner when she was renting her Arvada apartment.
But the rising costs of housing in Colorado combined with the fact that she is on a fixed income made her aspirations feel like a pipe dream — until she learned of an affordable home Brothers Redevelopment developed in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea area.
In March of 2020, Mike purchased the home, becoming the first resident to close on housing Brothers developed on behalf of the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Affordable Housing Collaborative — composed of Brothers, the GES Coalition and the Colorado Community Land Trust who is now managed by Habitat Metro Denver.
To pay for the home, Mike contributed $750 of her own savings and received financial assistance from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Housing Assistance Corporation. She benefits from a small program administered by the Colorado Division of Housing that allows Section 8 vouchers to be used to cover mortgages.
“Owning the home means everything. Who doesn’t want to be a homeowner,” said Mike. “I really enjoy my home, and I’m grateful for organizations like Brothers. I wouldn’t have ever owned a home had it not been for Brothers.”
Mike has not only benefited from affordable housing Brothers has developed in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea area. She’s also benefited from the nonprofit’s Individual Development Account (IDA) program.
Recipients of the IDA save $3,375 and Brothers matches at 2:1 to be used for repairs or improvements to an existing home. After saving the required funds, Brothers awarded Mike $6,750 to give her a total of $10,125 to be used for home repairs and modifications. She used the funding to get a driveway patio installed and to get her stairs updated.
Mike still has more than $1,000 left from the IDA and is hoping to get a fence installed outside her house. After she’s resided in her home for 36 months, the match will be completely forgiven.
“I’m very pleased with the IDA program, and I’m very lucky to have been able to use that program. I felt very provided for and cared for,” said Mike. “Brothers gave me all the support that I needed.”
In the coming weeks, Brothers and the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Affordable Housing Collaborative will break ground on a five-unit affordable housing community for qualifying homebuyers from Globeville and Elyria-Swansea. Last year, Brothers developed and sold two modular duplexes on behalf of the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Affordable Housing Collaborative.
The nonprofit’s housing units in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods are placed into a land trust to preserve affordability for generations to come.
Those who are interested in the IDA program should contact Brothers HUD Certified Housing Counselor/Housing Navigator Amy Kennedy at 303-685-4202 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is no other program that is going to give you 2:1. I’ve never heard of such a thing, and I just thought it was such a great program,” said Mike. “And I know it would be for other people who are in my situation.”