Gabi and Austin in front of their Redden rental

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to speak with longtime valley residents Gabi and Austin Baragar about their housing journey and how initiatives like the Valley Housing Fund’s Redden Workforce Rentals have positively impacted their lives.

Gabi and Austin’s Story

I was born and raised in Crested Butte, CO, and my dad grew up here too. As a second-generation local, I have seen first-hand the struggles and sacrifices that locals must make to ensure that they can afford to live in our resort valley. 

For Austin and me, finding a stable rental that was affordable, close to work, had enough room, and allowed pets was nearly impossible. Most recently, we moved to Gunnison for cheaper rent and more room, but we both had a daily commute of an hour round trip. The commute was exhausting, took up a lot of time, and was ultimately dangerous – totaling my car one night on the way home from work. 

In 2023, we were able to find a home in the town where we work, and we are rarely on the road now. We have affordable rent, the opportunity to grow our family, more time to spend on our careers, and more time in the outdoors. We got a dog and can now save up to buy a home.

I have also been fortunate to take the next steps in my career and become a business owner. I’m now available to my clients whenever necessary, and it has been a game changer for my future and goals. My husband runs heavy equipment, and he can now take on more responsibilities in his career without the long commute.

The Valley Housing Fund is changing this harsh reality [of the housing crisis] and allowing locals to focus on things other than where they will sleep at night.

Community housing projects like the Redden Workforce Rentals are making it possible for local professionals to put down roots in this valley, ensuring that there will still be a workforce to keep Crested Butte and Gunnison running. We can’t say enough good things about the Valley Housing Fund—thank you so much for everything.

Gabriella Garcia Baragar

Creating a Stronger and More Resilient Gunnison Valley

By facilitating projects like The Redden Workforce Rentals, the Valley Housing Fund is working to ensure that hardworking locals like Gabi and Austin, who live and work in the Gunnison Valley, can continue to grow and thrive in our community. We’re excited to continue working collaboratively with community partners in 2024 to support new housing initiatives, like the Mineral Point apartments. Stay updated on our work and get the latest news on community housing developments here.