Family is First to Pay Off Habitat Mortgage

October 24, 2017 (MONTROSE, CO) —  In January of 2000, Glenn and Michelle “Shelby” Ratliff, along with their five children, moved into their new Habitat for Humanity home. In 2004, Shelby passed away of a rare cancer. Nevertheless, Mr. Ratliff, sometimes with help from his children, paid off his twenty year mortgage in 17 years—and in doing so the Ratliff’s become the first Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans family to fully own their home.

Glenn Ratliff, photographed here, third adult from the right, with his family.

Glenn Ratliff, photographed here, third adult from the right, with his family.

“The greatest thing about this house is that we did it all together,” said Ratliff.

Ratliff said the home, in honoring his late wife’s wishes, has always been a place open to anyone who needed a hand up. “More than once our home has been somewhere my children’s friends could stay if they were in hard times, or needed to sort out family issues.”  

Like all Habitat families, the Ratliff’s contributed hundreds of volunteer hours into building their home.


As for paying off the mortgage, Ratliff said, “This hasn’t sunk in all the way, this is our house.”

Meanwhile, in Norwood, another Habitat success story with news that a family is selling their Habitat home, which they helped build in 2010, back to Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans. Thanks to the opportunity Habitat provided them, they’ve been able to save enough money to build a new home, thus returning their Habitat home back to the pool for another family to make great use of.

Colleen Burke, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate said, “These are two wonderful examples of how this model works. They were truly the right people for these mortgages, and their successes mirror what our organization is all about.”

Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans serves Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties and is currently planning new construction on triplexes in both Montrose and Ridgway, which will bring their total new home construction to 58 homes since 1991.