Millions in funding has been secured for Hayden’s new workforce housing development

Hayden and developer Gorman & Company have secured new affordable housing community, called Prairie Run, in Hayden.
Gorman & Company/Courtesy photo

The proposed workforce housing development in Hayden, Prairie Run, has received the funding necessary to actualize the project and is slated break ground as soon as June 2024.

According to Town Manager Mathew Mendisco, some units could be up and ready by 2025.

In a partnership with Gorman & Company, Hayden secured an $8.6 million Transformational Housing Award, which will enable the construction of 129 workforce housing units between 80% Area Median Income and 160% AMI.

“Prairie Run Workforce Apartments is the result of a vision from the town of Hayden’s Master Plan and Housing Action Plan to provide mixed-income locals housing to serve the critical housing needs within Hayden,” Mayor Ryan Banks said in a recent news release. “This housing will add security to the local businesses and workers that keep our community operating and make it such a special place to call home.”

In addition to the funding from the Transformational Housing Award, Routt County Commissioners granted the project $200,000 on Tuesday to help build infrastructure.

With $8.8 million secured in funding, the development will create 129 deed-restricted affordable for-rent housing units in apartments, townhomes and live-work unit configurations. 

Mendisco has been working to find ways to fund the project since the idea first came to the table. He detailed a highly competitive process when it came to applying for the Transformational Housing Award. Hayden town officials and developers ensured that an application for the award went into the first round applications, right when they first opened. 

“In the first two months of applications being open for the award, they received $200 million more in requests than they had planned,” Mendisco said. 

While the funding has been secured for these 129 units in Prairie Run, a lack of funding remains for the 50 units also proposed to be in the development with 30-60% AMI.

Mendisco said that despite this, the $8.8 million secured in funding will help build all the infrastructure and roadways for the development, so once funding is secured for the other 50 units, all developers will have to do is build vertically.

The town and Gorman & Company have already designated a plot of land for the project — 1300 W. Jefferson Ave. in Hayden — though it is on a floodplain. 

Considering that Hayden saw the impacts of flooding this past spring, is it safe to build on a floodplain?Mendisco says yes.

Partners on the project have a floodplain feasibility study underway, and Mendisco said that construction in a floodplain is actually feasible and more common than people think.

“You can build in a floodplain; you just have to build appropriately,” Mendisco said. “There’s a whole section in the building code about how to do that. You just have to follow certain protocols such as ensuring the homes are built on certain elevations.”

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