ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Affordable housing is getting a boost in Aspen thanks to a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

“In the 1970s the Pitkin County Commissioners decided there also needed to be housing that would house people who actually lived here and worked here year ’round,” said Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority board member Marcia Goshorn.

The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority decided to team up with Habitat for Humanity.

The property in Aspen that will be turned into a Habitat for Humanity duplex. (credit: CBS)

The property in Aspen that will be turned into a Habitat for Humanity duplex. (credit: CBS)

“It became very important to the housing board that we follow our mission which is to try and create housing for the people in need,” said Goshorn.

“We’ve never really built a home near Aspen, the closest we’ve ever gotten is 25 minutes away,” said Scott Gilbert with Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley.

According to their website: Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. We build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations. Our partner families purchase these houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans or innovative financing methods.

“Anytime we can get a lot for free that gives us a head start on the process,” said Gilbert. “Because we build houses for a fair bit of money and then sell them not for what we build them for, but what the people can afford them for.”

In Aspen a home will be torn down and a duplex built on the same lot by Habitat for Humanity. The neighbors will be millionaires but the families living here, just seconds from downtown Aspen, will make less than $60,000 a year.

“We’re trying to keep it in the footprint that’s there and we think a duplex would really do well for that,” said architect Scott McHale

The home will be a category one affordable home.

“On the second floor we’d have a nice living room, dining room and kitchen,” said McHale. “On the third level we’d have two bedrooms and two baths.”

It will take about two years for construction and both Habitat for Humanity and the Housing Authority will work together to find the right families. It could be a lasting partnership for affordable living in Aspen.


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