Housing authority to staff up with Brown Ranch, more on horizon | SteamboatToday.com

Housing authority to staff up with Brown Ranch, more on horizon

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is currently working to complete Sunlight Crossing on the west side of Steamboat Springs, with leasing expected to start sometime later this year.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today.

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is looking to roughly triple the size of its staff over the next two years, as planning for Brown Ranch isn’t the only project on the entity’s plate.

A year ago, beefing up the housing authority’s property management capabilities was the main priority, and in a special meeting for strategic planning last week, Executive Director Jason Peasley said he wants to ensure efforts to develop the Brown Ranch don’t get in the way of that.

“I can’t let that big, new sexy project occupy all of my focus,” Peasley said. “I think that’s a bit of what we need to do in organizing ourselves moving forward, is keeping the eye on things we still have to do.”

Brown Ranch is one major development that could ease Steamboat Springs’ housing crisis. However, in addition to Brown Ranch, the housing authority has a variety of ongoing projects around town. The most visible might be Sunlight Crossing on the west side of Steamboat, which is scheduled to start leasing later this year.

A screenchot of a slide shared by Jason Peasley, executive director of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, during a special meeting last week.
Yampa Valley Housing Authority/Screenshot

The housing authority is also working to bring its Anglers Four Hundred project out of the ground, adding 75 more units to the 90 Sunlight Crossing will add this year.

These and two other developments from the housing authority will have added 285 units, putting the authority about halfway to its goal of adding 600 affordable housing units by 2030.

That goal was set when voters approved a referendum in 2017 that raises about $900,000 annually for the housing authority. However, after last year’s Brown Ranch purchase, meeting that goal may not be enough for a housing starved community that’s beginning to see solutions.

“We still have to bring Anglers out of the ground and close that project, lease up Sunlight and create a development project at Mid Valley,” Peasley said, with the last item referring to property the Housing Authority bought in Steamboat with a donation last fall.

“All of that needs its attention while we also spend some time looking forward to what we know is coming down the line related to Brown Ranch,” he continued.

According to a plan outlined by Peasley last week, the housing authority would add five people this year and five more in 2023, with more than half of those projected positions in the realm of property management. Currently, the housing authority has six people on staff.

These additional hires were not taken into account when the housing authority board approved its 2022 budget, but Peasley said the additional scope of the Brown Ranch will require these hires.

In addition to site managers and maintenance personnel, Peasley also proposed hiring a project manager, grant administrator, accounting tech and an executive assistant.

Peasley said he hopes to add two people right away, with two more being hired later this summer. He estimated hiring these positions will likely add about $100,000 to the budget this year, but he anticipated they had the money to cover the increase.

The grant administrator position, which Peasley outlined likely wouldn’t be added until next year, will be particularly important because of how much grant funding the authority hopes to obtain.

“We’re building an entire city, and it’s going to require a lot of us,” he said. “We’re finding out how much larger the scope of work is than what we had originally thought. … It’s stretching us all very thin, so adding capacity is one of my major objectives.”

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