County to assess affordable housing
Garfield County has commissioned two consultants to take a look at the state of affordable housing here. Monday they approved a $20,000 study by RCC and McCormick Associates.Currently, if a land developer asks to increase density above what is allowed in the underlying zoning, the county requires that 10 percent of that project be affordable housing, said Garfield County Housing Authority Director Geneva Powell.”Priority (for affordable housing) goes to people who work in Garfield County,” she said.The county ordinance also requires the county to determine periodically if there is still a need for affordable housing. The last assessment was in 2001, conducted by RCC and McCormick Associates.”The 2001 study is becoming outdated because of growth,” Powell said.The study will look at the current housing situation in the county, including housing costs, affordable housing needs and the effectiveness of county regulations.Powell spoke to the commissioners Monday about the contract.”The way the memo was written, it talked about an overhead structure (to administer the study). I had a problem with that. I thought we were the agency that would be doing that,” she said.Since the 2001 study was completed, a new organization was created, the Roaring Fork Community Housing Fund, which aims to find money for affordable housing projects. In a memo to the county commissioners, senior long-range planner Randy Russell suggested the trust would manage options developers might use to meet their affordable housing requirements, such as payments in lieu of housing.Commissioner Larry McCown assured her that the county housing authority, which is under contract to administer affordable housing, would continue in its role. The trust fund’s role is to raise money, he said.”I agreed to (the formation of the trust) only as a vehicle to raise funds. We’re giving it a one-year trial to show results, and the meter is running,” he said. When the trust fund was first being talked about, it was seen as one of the legs of a three-legged stool, Powell said. “The county housing authority would be the administrator, Mountain Regional Housing Corp. … would be developer of affordable housing, and RFCHF would go after the dollars to help make it happen,” Powell said.Powell said she was pleased the commissioners support the role of the housing authority. She also wholeheartedly supports the study.”I was just there to protect the interests of the housing authority,” she said.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging anglers to stay off the Roaring Fork River between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs during afternoons beginning Saturday.