City opens housing lottery
It’s not quite as easy as picking six numbers, and the payoff isn’t a multimillion-dollar jackpot, either.For an individual or family dreaming of being able to buy a home in Glenwood Springs, however, it might be the next best thing.The city is accepting applications for its first affordable-housing lottery.The winner will earn the right to buy a deed-restricted townhome at West Glenwood Condominiums, 0110 135 Road, near Rey Motors.The unit has 1,171 square feet, including three bedrooms and two baths, and also has a two-car garage. It will be sold for $187,447. By comparison, the market rate for each of the other eight units there is about $210,000, said city planner Jill Peterson.The unit’s deed restriction will limit its annual appreciation in value to 3 percent.”What it does is help that buyer get into the door to kind of get going and build up some equity,” Peterson said.The unit is the first to be offered under the community housing ordinance City Council passed in 2001. The regulations require that developers of new subdivisions and multifamily housing projects provide 15 percent of their units as deed-restricted community housing, Peterson said.She said the unit is designed to be affordable to a family making 80 percent of the average median income in Garfield County, which is $60,600 for a family of four.As a result, the maximum annual income allowed for applicants is $48,500 for a family of four, $43,650 for a family of three, $38,800 for a family of two, and $33,950 for an individual. Also, a family’s total assets may not exceed $100,000.Also, applicants must be one of the following:• a full-time employee in Glenwood Springs for a business with its main office in town;• a retiree who was a full-time employee in town for four years just before retiring;• a disabled person who was a full-time employee in Glenwood Springs for at least two years just before becoming disabled.• a spouse or dependent of any of the above.Applicants also need to prequalify through their lenders.Technically, Patch-Vinegar Construction, the developer of West Glenwood Condominiums, was required to provide 1.35 deed-restricted units under the ordinance. To make up the fractional difference, it will contribute about $5,600 to the city’s affordable-housing fund, used for land acquisition and other programs, Peterson said.She’s not sure how many applicants to expect for the lottery, because it’s the city’s first. Employees for major employers, such as Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Medical Associates, the Roaring Fork School District Re-1, Garfield County and the city itself, are being notified of the home’s availability.Applications are due by 5 p.m. March 11. The lottery will take place April 11. Peterson said the names of all the applicants will be drawn, so if the winner doesn’t buy the property, the city can turn to a backup list.Peterson said it has taken three years for the first deed-restricted unit to be offered under the program because of a lack of development applications for multifamily units or subdivisions in recent years. Due to the city’s landlocked terrain, development has focused on more minor “infill” projects amid existing housing.The 15 percent requirement would apply to only some of the 475 residential units approved at Glenwood Meadows. Andrew McGregor, the city’s community development director, said that by state law, the city can’t apply affordability restrictions to rental units. Up to 300 of the Glenwood Meadows units can be rentals, McGregor said.Glenwood Meadows developers have proposed a 120-unit rental project that would include 84 low-income units, but say the proposal hinges on the city waiving fees and easing things such as parking requirements.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.orgTo applyHousing lottery application packages are available through Andrew McGregor, community development director, city of Glenwood Springs, 101 W. Eighth St., Floor 2, Glenwood Springs CO 81601; or Geneva Powell, executive director, Garfield County Housing Authority, 2128 Railroad Ave., Rifle CO 81650; or the city of Glenwood Springs Web site, http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us (click on “affordable housing”). To have an application mailed, contact Jill Peterson at 384-6407 or Geneva Powell at 625-3589.
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Sitting at the base of Sunlight Mountain, Larry Strohmeyer pictures a perfect day for skiing — a warm, spring day with a bluebird sky and a fresh layer of powder covering the slopes.