Olivia Lucero: Honor the deal | SteamboatToday.com

Olivia Lucero: Honor the deal

Mobile Home Park is in the final stages.

Thanks to the grassroots efforts of Christina Allevato and attorney Mark Frierich, Westland Park residents set a precedence in vacating their affordable housing to make way for a multimillion-dollar residential/commercial development. Money – $950,000 plus – from the sale of the Yampa Street right of way to the developer was designated for relocation of Westland Park residents. City Council assigned these efforts to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.

YVHA allocated $550,000 for relocation of the 42 families in Westland Park and the remainder allocated to affordable housing needs of other Steamboat residents.

YVHA redefined the term “homeowner.” Apparently, not every homeowner is equal in Steamboat Springs. There are two categories: homeowner/occupant or homeowner/non-occupant. An agreement by both City Council and YVHA was made that homeowner/occupant will be compensated 85 percent of their 2003 tax assessment and homeowner/non-occupant compensated 30 percent of their 2003 tax assessment. This was confirmed in writing and mailed to each homeowner.

Unfortunately, the disparity doesn’t end there. YVHA miscalculated their money distribution by approximately $31,000. Rather than YVHA doing the right thing and owning up to its shortcomings, YVHA placed the financial burden on the remaining few homeowner/non-occupants.

Homeowner/non-occupants will now receive 21 percent of their 2003 assessed values, instead of the agreed to 30 percent. This averages to approximately $7,500.

City Council and YVHA should do the right thing and honor their written agreement. They have the authority and financial means to reverse this decision. Hopefully, this grassroots effort does not end on a sour note, because if you own a mobile home in Steamboat, you’re next.

Olivia Lucero

Steamboat Springs

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