Teacher housing proposal progresses in Basalt, still needs final approval
A project that would provide affordable housing to teachers in the Roaring Fork School District moved a step closer to reality recently when the Basalt Town Council granted a key approval.
Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork and the Roaring Fork School District want to build 27 condominiums on the hillside behind Basalt High School. The school district is providing the land. Habitat will construct the condos. Pitkin County and the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority have been invited as partners, according to Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork President Scott Gilbert.
If the governments accept the invitation, they would be asked to provide the money for infrastructure, Gilbert said. In return, they would receive 12 of the condos for people actively engaged in the county workforce, he said. The project is for people in the workforce rather than retirees, Gilbert said.
The 15 units retained by the school district would be open to all employees of the school, with a special preference for teachers.
Gilbert said the project fits with Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork’s goals because it has been focusing on assisting people who are gainfully employed, but struggling with the valley’s inflated housing prices. People at the low end of the workforce have little chance of acquiring housing, he said. The nonprofit organization wants to aid teachers.
The Basalt Town Council granted unanimous approval at its Feb. 28 meeting. The town must review a more detailed application called a Final Site Plan before the project can proceed.
In the best-case scenario, Gilbert said, the partners hope to start work on the infrastructure “the day after school is out.” The units could be occupied in 2018.
The proposal is for six two-bedroom condos, 17 three-bedroom units and four units with four bedrooms.
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The property tax overcharge refunds are in the hands of Basalt residents. A new civic organization is cranking up its campaign to have recipients contribute some or all of their refunds to the Basalt Gives effort to benefit midvalley-serving nonprofits.