Yampa Valley Housing Authority hopes to break ground on another west side affordable development in 2020 | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Housing Authority hopes to break ground on another west side affordable development in 2020

The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is working toward a new affordable housing development, planned for a corner lot at the northwest side of the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Sunlight Drive in Steamboat Springs.
Photo by Michael Armstrong

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is working toward a new affordable housing project on Steamboat Springs’ west side with the developer Gorman and Co.

The development is planned for a corner lot at the northwest side of the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and the newly built Sunlight Drive on Steamboat’s West End.

While the specifics of how many units will serve what income level hasn’t been determined, current plans for the project call for 84 rental units deed-restricted to Routt County households earning 80% to 120% of area median income with an average income of tenants in the project earning 100% of area median income.

Routt County’s area median income is currently $60,300 for a single-person household and $86,100 for a four-person household.

These income limits would be enforced by a perpetual deed restriction which could not be lifted should the property be foreclosed on.

Kimball Crangle, Gorman’s Colorado market president, said her company had been “talking peripherally” with the Housing Authority for a couple of years. The company responded to a recent request for qualifications from the Housing Authority.

“We started digging into Steamboat to see what you all probably live daily, that there is a housing crisis up here and that affordability for the local workforce is quickly evaporating, if not completely evaporated already,” she said. 

Gorman operates in multiple states. In Colorado, the company has developed workforce housing projects in Vail and is in the process of completing a project in Keystone, according to Crangle and the company’s website.

The Housing Authority and Gorman aim to begin construction by May 1, 2020, and to complete the project by 2021.

“We committed to the voters that we were going to build a new project every year, and this is keeping that momentum going and building units for our local workforce and really providing more options for our local workforce, which is really important,” Housing Authority Executive Director Jason Peasley said. 

Unlike the Housing Authority’s recent projects, this project would not be financed using the sale of tax credits. This means the Housing Authority will be investing more of its own money, generated by a property tax approved by voters in 2017, to subsidize each unit to undercut market rental prices. The Housing Authority will contribute $1.4 million in capital to the project.

“From a cost standpoint, it’s really no different, but on the sources side, because there are no tax credits, it means we have to target a higher income level,” Peasley said. “With higher incomes, we have more revenue, and we can, therefore, borrow more to help pay for the cost of it. Also, we as the Housing Authority will invest more money per unit.”

Terms of the project will be hashed out under a draft letter of intent that was approved in essence by the Housing Authority board Thursday. With direction from the Housing Authority board, attorneys between the two parties will be hashing out some final sticking points before it is granted final approval by Peasley and the Housing Authority board’s development committee.

Board member Catherine Carson was the sole nay vote against the approval. While she “loved the concept,” she was not comfortable with the mechanism in which the price of rent would be determined within the project.

The Housing Authority is also making progress on its other developments.

Peasley said Alpenglow Village closed Aug. 2 on the sale of its tax credits with Wells Fargo. The complex, located on Pine Grove Road, kicked off vertical construction last month and is expected to begin leasing in spring 2020.

The Housing Authority is also pursuing state tax credits to finance another project that would break ground in 2021.

Peasley said there are currently no waitlists or leasing information available for any of these housing units. Those interested should watch for information about leasing Alpenglow Village in the spring by visiting yvha.org.

“There’s essentially no way to get on a waiting list for that project (Alpenglow Village), and really any of those units, even the project we just agreed to work on,” he said.

To reach Eleanor Hasenbeck, call 970-871-4210, email ehasenbeck@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @elHasenbeck.

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