Glenwood Springs partners with Habitat for Humanity on two housing developments
This story has been revised from the original version correcting a reference to a two-year residence requirement in the service area to qualify for housing, rather than a residency requirement in the 81601 area as first reported.
Habitat for Humanity is working with the city of Glenwood Springs to build two new housing developments.
On May 5, the Glenwood Springs City Council agreed to move forward in working with the Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley to build two affordable housing units on city-owned parcels of land.
Now the city and Habitat for Humanity are drafting a deed restriction agreement and memorandum of understanding. This will mean that the units will not only house people within the area median income (AMI) range, it will also give the discounted rate to the people who qualify.
One unit is planned to go up at Eighth Street and Midland Avenue while the second is planned to go in by on Airport Road called the Iddings project.
The city council approved a number of requirements for the draft deed restriction on the housing.
The first item was about AMI requirements in order to qualify to live in the housing for each unit.
Habitat for Humanity requested to set the AMI at Garfield County’s 80% for a four person household, or about $75,360.
Gail Schwartz, the president of Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley, reminded council that this housing is just the beginning and will only satisfy 1% of the affordable and workforce housing needs for Glenwood Springs.
City Council approved two different AMI qualification metrics for residents at the airport property: 75% of residents must make the 80% AMI or less while the remaining 25% of residents must make 100% of AMI or less which is about $94,200.
The second housing unit for development by Eighth Street and Midland Avenue will require 80% AMI or less for all residents.
Council Member Ingrid Wussow suggested splitting the AMI for families of four who make slightly higher earnings, but not enough to buy housing in the valley that will comfortably provide for a family of four.
The second item the council approved was an employment requirement of two years in the service area. This requires people to work in Glenwood Springs and the 81601 area code to be able to apply for the housing, while also having a two year residency requirement in the service area between Aspen to Parachute.
“If the family sells, if the family moves out the next qualification will be right back to that boundary, 81601,” said Hannah Klausman the Glenwood Springs assistant director of economic and community development.
Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes also wanted to make it a requirement for people to stay in the local workforce longterm after they are approved.
Schwatrz said that will just make people more susceptible to instability in the future. For example, if a teacher gets laid off in Glenwood Springs and can only find work in Basalt, losing their home can be detrimental.
“When you provide them an affordable mortgage that’s either a third or a half of what they are paying in rent and affordable utilities, these people will start to make the investment in the community,” she said. “It is that level of engagement that we have to trust that someone is going to be committed to this community.”
The third item approved was whether to waive the system improvements and building fee in exchange for employee housing for city employees and the community.
The final item approved was requiring two priority units for city employees and two priority units for the community, on both housing developments.
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