NewsCovering Colorado


Springs organization plans to build affordable homes for veterans, seeks funding

After a News5 report aired on military housing challenges, Veterans Home First reached out offering help with their innovative idea
Veterans Home First
Posted at 7:47 AM, Mar 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-28 09:49:46-04

Brad Schroeder is a third-generation Navy veteran and third-generation real estate broker living in El Paso County.

After seeing News5’s recent report on affordable housing challenges for military service members in the Pikes Peak region, he reached out saying he wanted to help.

WATCH: Housing crisis impacting Fort Carson soldiers, commander calls it a concern

His business, Veterans Home First, aims to solve that very problem; constructing affordable homes for vets.

Veterans Home First officially started two years ago, but Schroeder said the idea behind it is much older.

“Active members of the military, first responders, they've always done more. They've sacrificed, they've fought, they've put their life on the line for this country. For other Americans,” said Schroeder. “So they shouldn't have to fight for a house too. And that was kind of our motto.”

Working with business partner Mark Babcock, who owns a company called Living Colorado, Schroeder said they’ve devised a way to construct affordable homes that they intend to sell specifically to vets and first responders.

Through his nonprofit Living Colorado, Babcock teaches people that are struggling, like homeless veterans, skills like the construction trade. Through that work and Schroeder’s own building background, they will remodel and build houses, saving money on those costs.

“We can build these houses quickly, they're good quality. They're 1200 square feet, three bed, two bath houses,” said Schroeder. “They're no frills, they're nothing fancy by any means. But they are very good, solid quality houses that people can afford in today's ridiculous high prices of real estate.”

Schroeder also said he and Babcock have working relationships with vendors to keep costs low. Because of this, Schroeder claimed if there’s a home in the Pikes Peak region going for $400,000, their home builds could be $275,000.

Criticizing other builders and companies that “fix and flip” purely for profit, Schroeder said his idea is to simply help solve the affordable housing issue for military members and first responders.

“We don't need to make a million dollars on one house, we need to make $1,000 on 1000 houses,” said Schroeder. “So our profit is there, we can sustain the company. But at the same time, we aren't charging as much as the typical standard company that's out there.”

As for actually beginning construction and moving his business forward, Schroeder said they’re simply waiting for funding and investments to finalize and come through.

One such source of funding he hopes will come through is from the Colorado Affordable Housing Financing Fund, which was created in 2022 as part of Proposition 123.

“We have it ready to go, we just need to get the funding started so we can solve this problem of the housing shortage,” said Schroeder.

Email Senior Reporter Brett Forrest at Follow @brettforrestTVon X and Brett Forrest News on Facebook.

News Tips
What should KOAA5 cover? Is there a story, topic, or issue we should revisit? Have a story you believe should make the light of day? Let our newsroom know with the contact form below.


Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.