By late 2025, there will be a bustling corner of Crested Butte filled with local residents and workers, partly thanks to an extra funding boost from the Valley Housing Fund this week for the upcoming Mineral Point affordable housing development.

The Gunnison Valley-based affordable housing nonprofit approved a $100,000 grant request for its Partner Support Program to assist with an unexpected budget shortfall in the project planned on the Northeast side of Town. The Town of CB’s Affordable Housing Specialist Erin Ganser celebrated the news, stating “The saying ‘it takes a village’ couldn’t be more applicable when it comes to building workforce housing. The headwinds on these projects are persistent and the Valley Housing Fund’s participation will help get Mineral Point to the finish line. The Town sincerely appreciates their donation to the project.

It’s that dedicated “village” that helps fund the Valley Housing Fund (VHF) Partner Support Program, which is designed to help local housing projects succeed when extensive funding has already been secured, but the project still falls short. Board President Scott Desmarais shares “We still have a major affordable housing crisis in the Gunnison Valley. While there are new projects taking shape, getting Mineral Point across the line and having these homes available for our community members is absolutely critical.”

When allocating Partner Support grants, VHF prioritizes community housing projects that emphasize sustainable design, access for residents with disabilities, and quality of life. The all-electric project includes a 30% reduction in indoor water use, low energy lighting, and photovoltaic and EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, six of the 34 apartments at Mineral Point meet accessibility standards for people with disabilities, and two meet standards for individuals with visual and hearing impairments.

Executive Director Lauren Koelliker says, “The VHF Board is impressed with the efforts made to respond to community needs and create a living space that reflects local lifestyles.” She continues, “it’s apparent that a lot of thought went into decisions to enhance the ‘livability’ of these new affordable apartments, including extra storage facilities, a resident lounge and outdoor gathering areas, and a bike and dog wash station.” There will also be on-site services offered based on resident feedback, which can include a range of services from financial counseling to educational activities for kids.

VHF recognizes the essential role of private funding in affordable housing projects and has a strong history of providing this support to assist local housing developments. Many of the affordable developments in the north and south ends of the valley received grants or low-interest loans from VHF’s Partner Support Program, which has contributed over $3.1 million to local affordable housing since 2010. Private funding, even on a small scale, benefits overall project success by allowing developments to be more responsive to local needs, adding amenities, unlocking larger funding sources from state and national entities, and shortening the timeline for development.

While several additional community housing developments are in the planning stages, it is critical to recognize that all will experience serious funding shortfalls. If you would like to contribute to the Valley Housing Fund and/or specific projects, please contact us at info@vhfund.org or 970-901-9032.