Moab woman receives award for helping build affordable housing

Sep 22, 2022, 4:04 PM

MOAB, Utah — Moab is filled with beauty and outdoor adventure, but one thing lacking is affordable housing. One woman is looking to change that.

“We have a multimillion-dollar project all built on volunteer efforts,” said Sheri Griffith.

Griffith is helping lead the project Arroyo Crossing, with 40 acres of donated land that will soon be filled with 300 houses, apartments, townhomes and cottages that you can rent or buy.

“With us being able to build this, I think it will take a big strain off of it [housing crisis] and keep people staying in town,” Griffith said.

And to keep the homes affordable, some of them are self-help builds. Meaning, homeowners help build their home from the ground up.

Future homeowners, Tanda and Neil Apdach, have been working on their home for months.

“There’s a whole other level of pride that you get that you wouldn’t get if you just bought a home,” Tanda said.

The Apadachs said now that their home is almost finished, they are filled with excitement.

“To get this is like a dream come true,” she said. “Getting a house in a town like Moab seemed like an unattainable dream.”

Griffith is this year’s AARP Andrus Award winner for community service, for helping families realize that dream.

And as some of the houses are near completion, she said it makes her feel like it has all been worth it.

“I walk through here a couple times a week to remind myself why I work so hard,” Griffith said. “If not me, who is going to do it? It needs to be done. It has to be done.”

Griffith said they will be working on this project over the next several years.

To qualify to live here, you must work a minimum of 30 hours a week, or retired in Moab after working there for at least five years, and meet a lower income level.

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Moab woman receives award for helping build affordable housing