Housing forum to be held | SteamboatToday.com

Housing forum to be held

Authority aims to learn from affordable housing program

As more and more homes continue to dot the hill that has become West End Village, it is hard to imagine that at one time there was doubt whether the affordable housing project would happen.

But as RALF members, planning staff and the developers will agree, there were many hairy moments in creating the now visibly successful West End Village project.

On Wednesday, the newly formed Yampa Valley Housing Authority will hold a community forum to discuss the successes and failures of the project in an attempt to move forward with similar projects.

“There are many projects in the pipeline, and we want to learn the lessons from something that has already been completed. This is an opportunity to get people involved from conception to completion,” said housing authority member Curtis Church.

The housing authority, which slowly is taking over the assets of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, has invited RALF, the developers, Routt County commissioners, the Routt County Planning Department, the City Planning Department, the City Council, City Public Works, the city manager and the West End Village Homeowner’s Association.

The public also is encouraged to attend.

The West End Village Project certainly had its low points, such as when the original developer pulled out of the project. RALF worked effortlessly to meet city codes and keep the project affordable.

The result of more than five years of work, 1,000 meetings and the involvement of 250 families was the creation of 24 single-family and seven duplex affordable homes in Steamboat.

RALF offered special subsidies and financing deals to the homeowners. The homes also are deed restricted so only those who work in Routt County and make less than 120 percent of the median income can buy them.

Along with the RALF affordable housing homes, developer Tony Connell had 43 lots on the free market for sale.

The success of mixing open lots with deed-restricted and affordable-housing lots most likely will be discussed, Church said.

The discussion also will look at how the city departments worked together, Church said.

“There were certain communication channels that broke down during the process,” he said.

Last May, homes started going up at West End Village, and today very few lots remain empty.

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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