Basalt Vista housing project vital to keeping working families in Roaring Fork Valley
Jeremy and Lyssa Duncan were determined to figure out a way to settle in the Roaring Fork Valley despite the usual — and formidable — housing obstacles.
The 30-something couple had two young kids crammed into an 850-square-foot apartment. One of the kids was sleeping on a specially crafted piece of plywood fitted over the bathtub. The pandemic meant Jeremy was working from home on a card table set up in a closet.
Jeremy works in the IT department for the Pitkin County government. Lyssa has been an eighth-grade teacher at Aspen Middle School since 2008.
They kept entering and losing out in the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority lotteries. “We’d been playing the lottery for over six years,” Jeremy recalled. Then, good fortune came calling last year for the couple. The Duncans were selected to buy one of the units at the new Basalt Vista project. They moved into their four-bedroom, 1,600-square-foot unit about four months ago. The kids have their own bedrooms. There is space for Jeremy’s office. They were able to remain close to midvalley friends they made over the years.
“We talk about it daily — we made it. We made it in the valley,” Lyssa said. “In our world, (housing) is the puzzle piece you have to figure out.”
With prices topping $500,000 for entry-level homes, it’s tough for young couples to come up with the down payment. The heavily subsidized Basalt Vista housing project was critical for keeping vital workers in the valley. The units are selling for $250,000 to $370,000 depending on size. There are two-, three- and four-bedroom units. Home prices are tailored to family income and the size of the household. They are deed restricted to 3% annual appreciation to provide some equity for current owners and keep them affordable for future owners.
Basalt Vista is likely a model for what it is going to take for the valley to dent its affordable housing shortage. read story here