Our View: Yampa Valley Housing Authority sets the bar high | SteamboatToday.com

Our View: Yampa Valley Housing Authority sets the bar high

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority pledged it would build one project per year if voters passed a 1-mill levy in November 2017, and the organization, led by Executive Director Jason Peasley and an engaged board of directors, is making good on that promise.

Most recently, the Housing Authority announced it was entering into an agreement with private developer Gorman and Co. to build 84 rental units on Steamboat Springs’ west side. These units will be deed-restricted to Routt County households making between 80% and 120% of the area median income.

The project is slated for completion in 2021 and is being built without the support of federal tax credits, which were part of the funding equation that made the Housing Authority’s Reserves at Steamboat and Alpenglow Village projects possible. The Housing Authority will be contributing $1.4 million in capital to the project.

In all, the three projects add 204 rental units to the local housing market for low- and middle-income individuals and families, with more to come.

The Housing Authority serves as a great example for other organizations seeking to tackle challenges and issues facing our community.

In 2016, the Routt County Community Housing Steering Committee was formed to study the housing crisis in Steamboat Springs and Routt County, and the Housing Authority was the first agency to act upon the committee’s recommendations when it placed the 1-mill property tax for housing on the ballot and got it passed.

The Housing Authority continues to build a track record of success, and we credit that to a number of factors.

At a glance

At issue: The Yampa Valley Housing Authority recently announced plans to break ground on its third housing project in Steamboat Springs.

Our View: Due to visionary leadership and a solid board makeup, the Housing Authority is delivering on its campaign promise by using property tax money to support projects that directly impact the local affordable housing crisis.

Editorial Board

  • Logan Molen, publisher
  • Lisa Schlichtman, editor
  • Michael Marchand, community representative
  • Jim Beers, community representative

Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com.

First, the organization is led by a dedicated, visionary leader in Jason Peasley. With a background in planning, Peasley knows how to get things done when it comes to creating private-public partnerships with reputable, experienced private developers and leveraging programs, like federal tax credits through the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, to get projects funded and in the construction pipeline.

Secondly, Peasley has assembled a board of directors that shares his mission

and works hard to execute the organization’s goals. Those who serve on the board possess a wide range of skill sets, which are needed to help guide the organization with their financial acumen, housing knowledge and business expertise.

Peasley and his board seem to have laser focus and are taking advantage of the 10-year window they have to collect the 1-mill property tax, delivering on campaign promises and building credibility along the way. And if in the future, the organization should decide to go back to voters to renew the property tax after it sunsets in 2027, we think its track record of getting things done should result in a good outcome at the polls.

We are impressed with the organization’s ability to meet goals and take action to solve a community issue, and now, we hope other taxing entities take note and use the Housing Authority as a model when it comes to their future endeavors.

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