One Family's Story on Making it in the Valley
Maybe it's the seasonal spirit: seeing Christmas lights strung from roofs and families planning their holiday gatherings, but at this time of year we always find ourselves reflecting on our Habitat families and the transformative impact of having a secure, affordable place to call home. Today, we're thinking about Heather and Keith, one of our first Basalt Vista families and a vital part of our Roaring Fork Valley community.
Heather and Keith have lived and worked in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2014. They coach our kids, volunteer in the community, and have become small business owners in El Jebel. It's hard to imagine that just three years ago they were facing the specter of having to leave the Valley due to lack of affordable housing options.
Heather and Keith moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2014 so Keith could train as a Paralympic snowboarder. They fell in love with the Aspen area immediately and became determined to find a way to remain.
In late 2018, with their first child on the way Heather and Keith knew they needed to find a stable home for their family. They fought to have that home be in the Valley where they had spent years building a life and a community, entering APCHA lotteries and searching in earnest for any and all affordable housing options.
When Heather learned that they had won the APCHA lottery for a two-bedroom home in Basalt Vista she rushed to town to tell her husband who had been in a meeting at the time. “This has been our dream come true. We are beyond elated,” regarded Keith after finding out the news.
Heather and Keith enthusiastically showed up to complete their sweat equity. It didn't matter that Heather was pregnant or that Keith was training for Team USA Snowboarding, they happily helped to build their soon-to-be home. Within a week of finishing their sweat equity, they brought their son into the world knowing their family would have a beautiful home to grow and build memories in.
“It’s kind of cool because we got to help build a little bit of the other structures,” said Keith, “To see the progress and the amount of attention to detail, quality and craftsmanship that goes into these places, we’re extremely excited for our neighbors to have the opportunity to move in."
Heather and Keith are just one of our many Habitat Families who are the very fabric of our community, making the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys a vibrant, wonderful place to call home. At Habitat Roaring Fork, we work with these individuals and families to give them a hand up and offer a path to affordable homeownership so that our region can continue to grow and prosper.
There are many other families in the community struggling to find an affordable home. With your help we can continue to build homes for these vital workers. Keeping these families in the valley is beneficial for the family, those around them, and the community as a whole. Please consider donating to help build more homes for families like Heather and Keith.