Betty Valenzuela lives just west of downtown Denver in a two-bedroom bungalow not far from Elitch Gardens. Her home is more than 100 years old. As with many older homes in Denver’s historic neighborhoods, Betty’s house needed some TLC. But the much-needed repairs were more than she could reasonably afford, so, with a little help from her daughter and some online research, Betty found out about the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) and reached out for assistance through DURA’s Housing Rehabilitation Program.
Betty qualified for a low-interest loan, which allowed her to work with a DURA-recommended contractor to replace her windows, doors and bathroom shower.
“Applying wasn’t hard,” said Betty, “and they were all great people — the contractors and DURA staff.”
The benefits from the repairs were easy to see, she said. “I feel a big difference staying warm in the winter, and see a big difference with the energy bill, too.”
Replacing old windows and doors can be the best way to save on your energy bill and increase the value of your home.
DURA also helped Betty install an accessibility ramp leading up to the back door when her husband became sick and began using a wheelchair. Through DURA’s Renter/Homeowner Access Modification Program (RHAMP), she received grant funds to cover the cost of the entire project. She recommended that anybody in a similar situation contact the agency to see if they qualify.
“I worried a little about getting a loan and starting these projects,” said Betty, “But once I learned about the programs, I wasn’t worried anymore.”