Jeremy and Lyssa Duncan met in Basalt in 2012. Lyssa has been a teacher for Aspen School District, and many teachers in the Valley experience the challenge of buying a new home in Pitkin County, which can cost up to three times as much as a home in many other Colorado counties. They decided to join the waitlist for the Pitkin County housing lottery while living in a teachers’ housing unit. They made a 650 square feet unit work for the two of them and their infant daughter, who slept in their bathroom on a bed Jeremy made out of plywood. The couple felt they were at a crossroads, debating whether or not to relocate. “It’s the sad reality of making it work in the Valley,” Jeremy said. “Housing is an issue for workforce members. We didn’t have a huge financial safety net,” Jeremy said.
That all changed when Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork decided to launch an affordable townhouse project. Partnering with Pitkin County, the Roaring Fork Valley School District, and Holy Cross Energy, Habitat’s project made it possible for 27 families to move into budget-friendly, net-zero energy townhomes.
After 8 years of waiting, the Duncan family won the housing lottery and purchased their townhome for $395,000. Jeremy and Lyssa and their now two children moved into the 4-bedroom home in the fall of 2020. Prior to moving in, Jeremy and Lyssa contributed to some of the construction labor for the first phase of the project. “The concept of sweat equity played a big part in the culture and the feel of the community.” Jeremy said.
Very low energy costs – about $15-20/month because of high efficiency and solar generation (net zero energy)
Excellent comfort even in cold weather
Excellent cooking performance with induction
Excellent indoor air quality