Habitat for Humanity planning to build teacher housing

Feb 3, 2016

The mesa behind Basalt High School is being considered for 40 homes, half of which would be dedicated for teachers in the RE-1 School District.
Credit Aspen Journalism

  Plans are in the works to build as many as 40 affordable homes behind Basalt High School, half of which would be dedicated for local teachers. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

The developer would be Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork. Its executive director, Scott Gilbert, approached school officials and architects last spring. They’ve been in talks ever since and now the plan is becoming a reality. The school district would provide the land for free and Habitat would take it from there.


“It would be the normal Habitat formula. We would find people at a certain income level, we will make money from the ReStore, we will raise money from donors, we will borrow money from banks, we’ll find great loans, mortgages for teachers and teachers can build up some equity and when they want to move they’ll sell it to another teacher. It just seems like a dream come true and a logical solution to an ongoing affordable housing problem,” he says.


Gilbert says home ownership attracts long-term teachers. The Roaring Fork School District’s recent voter-approved $15 million bond for teacher housing is rental only.


The other half of the development would be homes for families who qualify under Habitat’s guidelines.


Gilbert hopes to have plans solidified by May when a building schedule can be put together, and as many as four duplexes could be built as soon as next year.