Authority plans large affordable housing project |

Authority plans large affordable housing project

— The Yampa Valley Housing Authority has land under contract in Steamboat Springs that would allow for its largest affordable housing project yet.

The proposed Elk River Village project, which is along Elk River Road between U.S. Highway 40 and the Copper Ridge Business Park, could accommodate as many as 34 single-family homes.

The project has gone through preliminary planning as a private development. Mitch Clementson and his development partners had proposed the development, which would include affordable housing, but they chose to sell the land to the Housing Authority.

“My sense is that this is a very generous offer to allow us to step in,” Housing Authority board member Kathi Meyer said.

The Housing Authority will be able to place deed restrictions on all of the homes that are built, she said. The cost of building the development through the Housing Authority likely will be less expensive because of tax breaks the government entity is entitled to.

Meyer declined to state how much the land cost, but she said the Housing Authority would help finance the project with funds from a nearly completed affordable housing project in Steamboat.

The Elk River project is unique because buyers would own their home and the land it sits on.

“It’s creating another ownership opportunity that currently doesn’t exist,” Meyer said.

Obtaining land for affordable housing projects, especially in Steamboat Springs, has been one of the biggest challenges for the Housing Authority.

“It all starts with the land,” Meyer said. “We are competing with private developers for the acquisition of land.”

Meyer said they anticipate closing on the property in August and getting the project through planning this fall. Construction could begin in the spring and be completed in 2007. Building modular homes would allow them to complete the project quickly, Meyer said.

“The project accomplishes one of our stated goals,” Meyer said. “We’re doing what the community expects, and that is to create affordable housing.”

Identifying the Housing Authority’s next project comes as construction is being completed on Fox Creek Village. The project is the housing authority’s largest project to date in terms of cost and size. Residents likely will start moving into the 30, two-bedroom condominium units by October.

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