Home is the Foundation
With breathtaking mountain views, boundless outdoor recreation options, and a blossoming arts community, the Roaring Fork Valley is a unique and wonderful place to call home. And beyond our local charm, we also have a long history of economic prosperity. From mining and ranching, and now recreation and tourism, our valley has always been known as a place where families could make an honest living.
But in recent years the cost of living has increased dramatically without equal growth in wages, which has had dire consequences for many of the people we know as our friends and neighbors. It's no secret that the cost of owning a home in our state is high: 66% higher than the national average, and lack of access to affordable housing in our Valley specifically has reached a crisis level. The people most impacted by this affordable housing crisis are our workforce: the teachers, administrators, coaches, and small business owners who drive our economic growth and help shape our children.
At Habitat Roaring Fork, we believe that home is the foundation on which individuals build lives, families, and self reliance, and on which communities then propel themselves forward. Whether it’s building new homes; advocating for affordable housing solutions at the local and state levels; or helping families plan for and achieve responsible financial management; we look for ways to provide sustainable homeownership to more people: as an investment not only in their futures, but in our communities’ futures as a whole.
In this post, we explain just a few of the reasons affordable homeownership in our Valley benefit us all and offer several options for you to become part of the solution.
Home is the Foundation on which
Individuals Build Self Reliance
Habitat has always been about building self-reliance and providing that ‘hand up, not a hand out’. Habitat homeowners are required to contribute 250 hours per adult of sweat equity before they move into their homes and pay a mortgage just like any other homebuyer. We work with our Habitat families to set them up for success and determine a payment plan that fits their budget so they can build equity in their home, while also fulfilling other financial obligations.
According to an impact report by Habitat for Humanity of Colorado, "Homeowners reported significantly less use of public assistance after moving into a Habitat house."
The ability to manage both the cost of housing and living helps these new homeowners grow their financial literacy and budget confidently. Without home and utility payments that eat into the majority of a paycheck, Habitat homeowners experience greater financial security as they are able to increase their savings, stay employed, spend less on their energy bills and reduce their use of public assistance programs.
Home is the Foundation on which
Happy, Health Families are Started & Nurtured
Habitat Roaring Fork homes provide safe, healthy environments in which families can thrive. The benefits of homeownership are not only physical improvements but emotional as well; children have space to grow and parents have the peace-of-mind that comes from not worrying about increasing rent prices or lease terminations.
But homeownership with Habitat Roaring Fork isn't just about having a place to live, it's also about ensuring children can grow up with stability and opportunity. When children have a quiet, consistent space to do homework and are able to attend the same schools with their peers throughout their education, it leads to better grades and improved accessibility for education opportunities. Of the Habitat homeowners in Colorado, 90% said they saw an improvement in their family’s health since moving into their homes, and two-thirds expect their children to earn a bachelor’s degree or greater. Living in a safe and stable home prepares children to take care of themselves when it comes time to make decisions for life's next chapter.
Tessa and Cory Ice know first-hand how Habitat homeownership fosters a nurturing environment for families. “Prior to becoming Habitat homeowners, we were renting a less than 600 square foot house with a toddler and a baby. We knew our situation was the best “deal” for us financially and in this valley, but still, we dreamed.” After completing their sweat equity and moving into their Habitat home in 2018, the Ice family has started to see those dreams become a reality.
Home is the Foundation on which
Our Economies Thrive & Communities Prosper
Our tourism economy requires a workforce that is personally invested in our continued economic growth and development. Habitat Roaring Fork ensures the health and viability of our towns by facilitating access to long-term homeownership for our dedicated workforce. Giving individuals the opportunity to live where they work means they are able to give more to their jobs and to the communities they serve.
When workforce families can live affordably, it also frees up disposable income that can go into our local economy. And according to Habitat for Humanity of Colorado, Habitat homeowners increased their volunteer efforts in their communities by 13% after moving into their homes.
Even after a short time living in Basalt Vista, Lizz and Mark Sinkinson have now realized how affordable homeownership fosters strong community ties and elevates shared values. Says Liz, “We love our Basalt Vista community and our neighbors. It’s clear that we share many of the same values: hard work, family, and giving back. Speaking of giving back, my husband and I have been volunteers of every kind since moving to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2008. We are passionate about (Habitat) not only because we found our forever home through them, but because we want to help work towards the same goal for other deserving families.”
How You Can Help
Our Habitat Roaring Fork team is honored to deliver on our mission of building homes with the people who we need most in our communities for over 20 years because we know how much a home means, not just to them, but to our Valley as a whole. But when thinking about the affordable housing crisis in our region, it’s important to remember that there is no one solution. It requires input from many sources—from strategic partnerships across the private and public sectors, to passionate individuals like yourself who are willing to dig in and lift others up.
Here are the many ways you can help make a difference in our community:
Sign up to volunteer at our build site or in our ReStore. No skills or tools required. You can come alone or bring your friends or co-workers for a day or on a regular basis. We’d love to have you join us! SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER
MAKE A MONETARY DONATION
Make a one-time donation our become a long-term partner by joining our Builder’s Club with an ongoing monthly donation. (In addition to the good feeling you get from giving, Builders Club members also get great perks!) MAKE A DONATION OR JOIN OUR BUILDERS CLUB
SHOP AND/OR DONATE TO OUR RESTORE
Shop at our ReStore either in-person or 24/7 online. (The proceeds from our ReStore enable us to employ over 30 locals and pay them a living wage, it also allows us to direct 100% of monetary donations to our homebuilding fund.) DONATE GOODS
However you choose to get involved, your support makes an invaluable impact on our Roaring Fork Community. Thank you!