How to handle housing |

How to handle housing

Council, Housing Authority to define roles at tonight's meeting

Routt County Planner Mary Alice Page-Allen, the new president of the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, said Monday that tonight's conversation with the Steamboat Springs City Council needs to clarify how affordable housing will be developed in Steamboat.
John F. Russell

On the Agenda

4 p.m. Council meets as the city's Redevelopment Authority to hear an update on 2007 redevelopment projects at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

5 p.m. Presentation of a scope of work for a consultant to perform a study of alternate uses for Steamboat Springs Airport; second reading of an ordinance allowing the city to purchase land from Moffat County for a regional bus storing facility.

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Work session with the Steamboat Springs Rural Fire Protection District, to discuss the future of the downtown fire station.

7 p.m. Public comment

6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Work session with the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, to discuss roles and responsibilities of the City Council and Housing Authority relating to the development of affordable housing in Steamboat.

If you go

What: Meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call city offices at 879-2060 for more information.

Mary Alice Page-Allen knows exactly what she wants to come out of tonight’s meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

“A definitive understanding of what our roles and responsibilities are and of how we’re going to work together,” Page-Allen said Monday. “I think we need to have the discussion face-to-face, in order to reach an understanding of where each body is going.”

Page-Allen, a Routt County planner, was elected to be the new Housing Authority president, during a meeting last month when the Housing Authority also voted to send a letter to the City Council requesting a joint meeting.

“There has been some frustration and confusion, on the part of board members, about our role with the city,” Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said at the time. Stahoviak is a member of the Housing Authority’s Board of Directors.

Tonight’s meeting will incl-ude discussion of responsibilities relating to the city’s affordable housing policies, regulations, projects and programs; the Housing Authority’s 2007 Work Program; the city’s plans for nearly $1 million it received for affordable housing from developers of the downtown Riverwalk project; and the city’s plans for future funds that could be generated by revised city housing policies and requirements.

Page-Allen would not say what she would like to see happen with the money acquired through the Riverwalk development.

“I am not in any position to dream, but it is part of the conversation we definitely have to have with the council,” she said. “One facet of this ‘roles and responsibilities’ conversation is money. If we continue to acquire, build, own and manage, that doesn’t happen without money.”

City Council President Susan Dellinger said there are several options for the Riverwalk funds, including land purchases and the possible creation of a new staff position such as a city housing planner.

The Housing Authority, formed in 2003, has constructed the 30-unit Fox Creek development on Hilltop Parkway and is now looking at its next project, construction of the Elk River Village development on Routt County Road 129.

Staff with Boulder research and consulting firm RRC Associates will facilitate tonig-ht’s discussion. RRC Associates has assisted city officials with several housing studies in Steamboat, including a community survey in 2005.

Page-Allen said Boulder city officials have developed clear responsibilities for the city and a housing authority.

“The city basically functions in the context of defining housing policy, providing some funding for housing and formulating regulations, while the housing authority in Boulder deals with the physical side of the equation – the acquisition, the building, and the owning and managing,” Page-Allen said. “That’s one example of a model where the two separate entities have come together.”

– To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail

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