Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley breaks ground on 16-unit project in Eagle
Third Street project to add 16 new homes
Special to the Daily
A large crowd Thursday celebrated Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley’s 16 new homeowners and the partnerships that made the development possible.
The local nonprofit on June 22 broke ground on 16 homes, starting to build a new neighborhood off Third Street in Eagle. This development stands out because of the partnerships and innovation for future homeowners.
“Third Street is an amazing example of the power of utilizing individual strengths through collaboration and partnership to find creative solutions to solve challenging problems,” Habitat Vail Valley Executive Director John Welaj said in his welcoming remarks.
The partners came together to celebrate the years-long process to bring the project to fruition. Eagle County Schools donated the land, and the town of Eagle reduced its permitting fees and helped Habitat procure grants from the state for infrastructure work. The Eagle County Housing and Development Authority funded the gap between construction costs and affordability. Finally, Habitat accessed funding from the newly created Transformational Affordable Housing Grant program through the Colorado Department of Housing.
“It’s kind of surreal to see this project go from an idea to a vision to a reality. It’s a privilege to get to work with such partners on this project because you are the believers. Thank you for all being believers and making this project come to life,” Habitat Director of Special Projects Emily Peyton said.
This project turned dreamers turned into doers. As the local housing crisis deepens, a shortened timeline is needed to help essential employees find permanent, affordable homea. Third Street is Habitat’s first step in modular building to help families move into their homes sooner, and a key component to Habitat being able triple the number of homes started in 2023. As the 16 homes are built in Fading West’s Buena Vista factory, Habitat will also break ground on eight site-built homes in Gypsum.
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In 2022-23, Habitat Vail Valley received 170 applications for 24 homes. In 2022, 98 homes sold for less than $500,000 — eight of which were Habitat homes. Our teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, bus drivers and grocery store workers deserve safe, stable homes.
Third Street is also notable because 75% of the new homeowners are Eagle County School District’s employees. Partnering with the district will allow the retention of quality teachers in the classroom who impact hundreds of children a year.
“Attracting and retaining quality employees is a huge priority of Eagle County School District. We know having quality educators and support staff in front of our students every day is one of the primary influencers on their education success. In order to do that we need housing. We know housing is such a challenge in our community. Creative partnerships like this one with Habitat make that possible,” Board of Education President Michelle Stecher said. “We know children and families are the foundation of a strong community. And we are thrilled to partner to welcome 16 families into their forever homes.”
Tim Moffet is one of the new homeowners and is the school district’s School to Work Alliance Program Coordinator.
“The chance to have a Habitat home means that I can remain working in and serving the community I’ve been a part of for nearly 30 years. Because of the partnerships represented here today, who’ve come together to take real action to build affordable housing, I will be able to continue supporting young people in Eagle County,” Moffet said. “Living where you work strengthens communities and connections. If it wasn’t for Habitat, I couldn’t stay here working with the school district; I’d have to leave the valley. This project is what employee retention and recruitment looks like.”
New road home
The new road off Third Street was dedicated Thursday as well. Adam’s Way Road was named in honor of the late Adam Palmer — a man with zeal, passion and drive.
“There is one believer who is no longer with us, but who very much continues to be a guiding light and force in this community — Adam Palmer. We should all probably live our lives a little more Adam’s way and if we do the world will continue to be a better place because of him. For this reason, we have named the internal drive Adam’s Way Road in honor of Adam and the legacy he left and continues to leave on this community. We’re all better because of Adam,” Emily shared.
Later this year, Habitat will break ground on eight homes in Stratton Flats in Gypsum, meeting its goal to start 24 homes in 2023. For more information, go to HabitatVailValley.org.
Heather Hower is the Communications Manager for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley. She can be reached at email@example.com.