Habitat has a house that needs a home
November 1, 2006
A house is in need of a home.The Roaring Fork chapter of Habitat for Humanity is facing a unique problem. The nonprofit organization that builds housing for low-income families has received a donation of a 1,500-square-foot house in Aspen. Now it must find somewhere to move the structure by March 15.”The hurdle for us on this one is what it always is – finding land,” said Scott Gilbert, president of the local branch of Habitat for Humanity.
The homeowners in Aspen plan to redevelop their property in a neighborhood off Cemetery Lane. Rather than tear down the 40-year-old ranch-style house, they want to put it to good use, so they contacted Habitat for Humanity. The owners rent the house out to some ski bums for the winter.Gilbert was initially lukewarm on the offer. Well-intentioned homeowners have contributed construction materials in the past from homes slated for demolition. They want Habitat to salvage what they can. As often as not, Gilbert said, the house is in tough shape, and the effort isn’t worthwhile.”I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be horrible,'” Gilbert admitted.
But when he visited the house, he found it immaculate. It shows little wear and tear for 40 years, he said.Gilbert said Habitat for Humanity’s track record shows it can build a house in the Roaring Fork Valley for about $65,000, with donated land, volunteer labor and discounted materials. It has built four homes in the valley so far: single-family residences in Glenwood Springs and Emma, and a duplex in Carbondale.It appears the 1,500-square-foot house in Aspen could be moved for about $20,000, depending on the new location, Gilbert said. Habitat is seeking land somewhere between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. Building a foundation, providing utilities and shoring up the relocated house would cost about another $10,000.
Therefore, if Habitat finds land for the ranch-style house, the group figures it would have it ready for occupancy after a $30,000 investment.The deal was too good to pass up. It’s the first contribution of its kind to the local chapter of Habitat, according to Gilbert. But turning it into a home for a needy family depends on a land donation.Gilbert urged any landowner with a suitable site to call him at 927-0551 or (970) 390-4932, or by e-mail email@example.com.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.