Habitat for Humanity house helps Summit County family find stability, establish roots
Anna and Andrei Lubneuski have lived in Summit County for over a decade.
They have worked in various hospitality and retail jobs throughout the county, have two children who attend Frisco Elementary School and love the community they live in. But they’ve never been able to afford a home in the area. Until now.
The Lubneuskis were chosen out of 16 applicants as the new homeowners of a Habitat for Humanity home located in Dillon Valley. Without the Habitat home, Anna Lubneuski isn’t sure she and her husband could have afforded a home in the area.
“It means, probably, for us that we no longer should worry about finding another place or being able to afford it,” she said. “We feel safe to be able to put down our roots in the community.”
The Lubneuskis have lived in various apartments throughout Dillon and Frisco. They’ve rented parts of homes that were shared by homeowners, and have dealt with last-minute move-out dates and steadily rising rent prices.
However, they’ve never given up on the idea of living here. When Andrei Lubneuski first moved from his home country of Belarus to Summit County in 2005, he realized this is where he wanted to be. When Anna came here from Ukraine three years later, the couple fell in love and Andrei convinced Anna to stay.
“I liked this place from the first day,” Andrei Lubneuski said. “I love the mountains, I love the snow in the winter.”
Andrei Lubneuski now works at Colisco Wearables in Frisco and Anna owns a housekeeping business called Sparkle Mountain. The family’s current apartment in Dillon is a two-bedroom dwelling, and their two children, a boy and a girl, have to share a room.
While the apartment has worked for them, Andrei Lubneuski said it’s not sustainable long term. The new Habitat house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms — the perfect size for the Lubneuski family.
“The Habitat house is actually the perfect place,” he said. “We’re so happy we got selected. It looks like right now from our perspective that it’s the only place we could get right now, because even affordable housing is $500,000 per unit.”
April-Dawn Knudsen, executive director of Summit Habitat, said the Lubneuskis demonstrated that they were ready and eager to own a home in their application.
“They’re a young family, and so we really want to select applicants who are looking to lay down roots and be in our community long term,” Knudsen said. “Both Anna and Andrei have been in our community a long time. They’re committed to staying in our community. They want to raise their kids in our community.”
Since it is a Habitat for Humanity home, the Lubneuskis will have an affordable mortgage that makes up no more than 30% of their income. The family will also be required to help with the construction of their home, which the program refers to as “sweat equity.”
Currently, the home is in more specialized phases of construction, so Anna and Andrei Lubneuski have gone to the site a couple of times recently to help clean up and have also been working some hours at the Habitat Restore in Silverthorne.
“They’re asking our opinion on every single step,” Anna Lubneuski said. “We’re building the house together, and as soon as they can get us involved more in the construction, we will be there.”
Construction on the house is set to be complete in the fall, when the program will host a closing event for the family. People who want to support the project can visit SummitHabitat.org to make a donation or sign up to be a volunteer. Opportunities to help volunteer will be available in the spring, Knudsen said.
While Anna and Andrei Lubneuski can’t wait to be in their new home, no one is more excited than their two kids.
“We showed them the place and how the house looks right now,” Anna said. “They were so happy. They’re already planning what their bedrooms are going to look like.”
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