Federal spending bill boosts funding for affordable housing projects like Steamboat’s | SteamboatToday.com

Federal spending bill boosts funding for affordable housing projects like Steamboat’s

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill approved by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on March 22 increased funding for affordable housing projects like The Reserves in Steamboat Springs by $3.9 billion.
Courtesy photo

Alpiner Motel remains in the mix

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority continues to work with developer Scott Yeates of SW Development Group on a proposal to convert the motel rooms in the Alpiner in downtown Steamboat into 34 studio apartments.  The project would be slated for a later round of income tax credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Yampa Valley Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley said Wednesday that the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill approved by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on March 22 had good news in it for organizations like his.

The local housing authority is intent on seeking federal funds in the form of income tax credits in order to develop more affordable community housing like the 48-unit The Reserves at Steamboat completed last year. This time, the authority has its sights set on doubling the size of a new project.

The federal spending bill increased the amount of funds available to disperse to the states for affordable housing support by $3.9 billion over fiscal year 2017 to a total of $42.7 billion.

The big number was $12 billion more than what President Donald Trump requested, according to the National Council of State Housing Agencies.

“All of that’s really positive for our program and for our chances of bringing projects to this town (that would be available) to a broader range of incomes, up to 80 percent of the area median income in the community,” Peasley said.

The tax credits are available through the Colorado Housing Finance Authority in a competitive process to local housing authorities like the Yampa Valley’s to sell to individuals or institutions that can benefit from income tax credits. Proceeds from the sale help the local housing agencies leverage the development of low- to middle-income housing in partnership with private sector developers.

Similar tax credits were instrumental in allowing the local housing authority to build The Reserves at Steamboat in partnership with the Overland Property Group of Kansas. American Express purchased the tax credits associated with The Reserves for $13 million — $2 million more than expected.

Now, after voters in the housing district passed a 10-year, one-mill property tax increase in the November 2017 election, which is expected to raise $8.5 million, or $850,000 annually, the housing authority and Overland are hoping to double-down and build a 96-apartment building at an estimated cost of $26 million.

The deadline for the Yampa Valley Housing Authority to apply to the Colorado Housing Finance Authority for the federal income tax credits is eight weeks away, and there’s still much to be accomplished.

The housing authority continues to work with Overland to identify and secure a site.

“We’re working towards that,” Peasley said. “We don’t have any information to share. It’s sort of finalizing which parcel, and the development scheme — the number of units and the unit mix.”

Upcoming deadlines include submittal of a letter of intent to the state authority by May 1, followed by a formal application due June 1. The award of tax credits to affordable housing projects will be announced in mid-September.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

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