Sunlight Crossing lottery waiting for final OK from contractors

Process could move quickly, but officials are waiting to ensure heavy equipment will be gone by move-in day

Sunlight Crossing, a Yampa Valley Housing Authority development targeted for middle-income residents, will begin the lease up process as soon as its clear when the building will be move-in ready.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Lease up for the new Sunlight Crossing development on Steamboat Springs’ west side is getting closer but won’t start until housing officials are sure the space will be ready for resident’s to move in.

In an update to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority Board on Thursday, June 9, Alyssa “La La” Cartmill, the organization’s asset and property manager, said she has a website prepared, but is waiting for assurances from contractors about when everything will be ready for people to move in.

“It’s been kind of a hurry up and wait game recently,” Cartmill said at the meeting. “I have everything ready to go on the front end. We’re just waiting for the OK from the construction team.”

Cartmill said there are some exterior components on the 90-unit complex, such as stuccowork, that are not yet complete. Because of this, she is hesitant to start the lottery and lease up process without knowing for sure when the equipment will be gone.

“Because they are going to have large, heavy equipment, I don’t want people trying to move in, walking under people (on scaffolding) four stories up,” Cartmill said.

The development is the first built by the housing authority targeted at middle-income residents — an aspect of the housing market known as the missing middle. The hope is the new studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units will help locals who don’t have secure housing but make too much money to qualify for low-income units.

Middle-income is defined as between 80% and 120% the area median income. In Steamboat Springs, that amounts to yearly earnings between $57,360 and $86,040 for a single person or between $81,840 and $122,760 a year for a family of four, according to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Steamboat’s AMI increased by 12% since last year, which will likely push rents higher than residents had anticipated. The local housing authority does not determine what median income figures; rather, federal housing officials determine those numbers.

There are now 927 households that have signed the housing authority’s interest list for the property — more than 10 times the units available. When ready, Cartmill will send lottery and lease up information to everyone on that list.

The lottery will be open for a few days, and then Cartmill and other folks at the housing authority will start reaching out to the lucky ones, verifying eligibility for a unit and if eligible, sign a lease agreement.

Ideally, the process for the lottery and lease up could move quickly enough to allow people to move in by July 1, but Cartmill said she does not want to start that process before she has a guarantee specific dates won’t change.

“I don’t want to run the lottery and then we get another construction pushback,” Cartmill said.

The fear is that someone could get a unit, notify their current landlord they will be leaving and then be left homeless for a period of time because of a delay in the move-in period. The best option is just to wait until all the dates are for sure, Cartmill said.

“It’ll be really quick,” Cartmill said about the process once it starts. “That’s why we’re hesitant to say dates.”

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