Garfield County’s housing eligibility rules broadened |

Garfield County’s housing eligibility rules broadened

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Garfield County’s housing eligibility rules are being broadened somewhat, to enable people living outside the county to qualify for subsidized housing in certain circumstances.

The board of county commissioners went along with the idea at a meeting on Oct. 18, unanimously approving text amendments to the section of the county codes dealing with affordable housing.

Part of the changes to the codes raised the value of assets permitted to housing applicants, currently set at $100,000.

The new assets cap will be $150,000, which allows for such things as divorce settlements involving the sale of a jointly owned home, the county’s housing authority’s executive director, Geneva Powell, told the BOCC.

Proposed by the county’s housing authority, the thinking behind the amendments is at least partly meant to ensure that none of the housing units controlled by the authority go empty.

“It’s just sort of broadening category two,” explained Powell, referring to the second tier of eligibility in the housing guidelines, which permits subsidized housing units to be occupied by people who don’t actually work full time in the county. The first tier covers those who do work full time in Garfield County.

Powell told the BOCC that her office has had requests from people living outside the county lines in rental complexes who would like to move up to owning their own homes.

At the same time, she said, the authority has had to leave some of the units empty because of a lack of qualified buyers or renters.

“We don’t want any of our units standing empty,” she told a reporter after meeting with the BOCC.

One change to the codes creates a third category for eligibility, those “who will become full-time residents of Garfield County by participation in this program [the housing authority]. This request is based on the current economic situation and to accommodate applicants who are seeking to become Garfield County residents.”

Powell assured the BOCC, though, that “people that work in Garfield County will always have priority” over people working outside the county, in the lotteries conducted to determine who gets to buy or move into the units.

Other changes to the codes cover such issues as the “down payment assumption” in establishing prices for the units being sold; and eliminating financing deals that offer “more than 100 percent financing of the sale price of the home,” among other details of the regulations.

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