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July 17, 2012
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Habitat looking to build homes in Keator Grove neighborhood

CARBONDALE, Colorado - The nonprofit housing developer Habitat For Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley hopes to buy a dozen lots in the Keator Grove subdivision, a Habitat official confirmed on Monday.

"We've been working on this for two years," said Scott Gilbert, president of the organization. Reached at his office on Monday, Gilbert confirmed that talks are under way, and said, "We're hoping to buy the lots."

The lots were owned by a developer, but are now held by Alpine Bank in Aspen, according to records at the Garfield County Treasurer's office.

Keator Grove is an affordable housing project that was developed with the help of the Aspen Skiing Co., which bought some of the homes for its own employee housing needs.

Habitat has been in the valley since 1999, and has built a dozen homes in the region, Gilbert noted, including several in Carbondale. The organization currently is working on two duplexes in Silt.

The mission of Habitat is to build homes for those who are not able to buy on the open market. Buyers must have an annual income of not more than $30,000 and be willing to contribute sweat equity, by working on the construction of the home.

In addition, Gilbert said, Habitat reserves the right of first refusal for any subsequent sale of the home, in order to keep it affordable.

Although planning for development of the lots has not begun, Gilbert said, "We'd love to continue the neighborhood exactly as it is."

The lots originally were planned for single-family homes, he said, and unless the Keator Grove homeowners association objects, it is likely Habitat will stick with that plan.

But, Gilbert noted, "Every time you mention Habitat, people have got an opinion." Neighbors sometimes question whether housing for low-income buyers is appropriate for their neighborhood.

"We're really conscious of the sensitivities of the community," he continued. "We're looking to be a good neighbor."">class="NormalParagraphStyle">

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The Post Independent Updated Jul 17, 2012 01:36AM Published Jul 17, 2012 01:34AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.