Income limits for Glenwood Springs housing lottery could increase |

Income limits for Glenwood Springs housing lottery could increase

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Don Nadon, 51, left the Garfield County Administration Building with a smile on his face Wednesday afternoon.

Nadon was one of the lucky 10 people chosen in the first of a two part Garfield County Affordable Housing Lottery which is providing 20 affordable housing units located in the Ironbridge Community between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

“I’m real excited,” Nadon said. “I grew up in Glenwood and was hoping to move back here about 10 years ago, but never made it. And housing prices have gone way up since then and it would be almost impossible for me to purchase something here today. This is a great opportunity.”

Now Nadon has seven days to secure financing to ensure that he gets one of the units. Despite low income limits, a $230,000 price tag, and a tight lending market, Nadon wasn’t too concerned about not qualifying for a loan.

“I’ve looked into it a little bit already,” he said. “They are allowing you to have a co-signer now, so that helps me.”

Suzie Davis of Rifle wasn’t selected in this first round. Those not selected, like Davis, are now on a wait list and have until September 30 to submit in writing if they would like to remain on the wait list or would like to forfeit this round and be entered into the second round for the next 10 affordable units at Ironbridge. The second lottery will be held on October 9 at 4 p.m. Deadline for others wanting to submit applications for that lottery is 4 p.m. September 30.

Davis was eighth on the wait list, which means seven of the 10 selected Wednesday would have to drop out.

“Being that far down the list means that my chances might be better going into the next lottery,” she said. “But I can kind of hang in this position and hope for someone else to fall out.”

According to Geneva Powell, executive director of the Garfield County Housing Authority, it’s not uncommon for people who’ve won the housing lottery to forfeit the property.

“Traditionally we have had a couple of people that fell out,” Powell said. “I can’t tell you that it will happen this time, I don’t have a crystal ball. But if you are number 11, you need to decide if you’re going to stay in the wait list position for this lottery or if you’re going to be involved in the next one.”

Low maximum income limits of $37,250 for a single person, and $53,200 for a family of four, which is 80 percent of the Garfield County median household income and the $230,000 price for these homes have had some questioning just how affordable these houses are, and if the program works. But Powell said that while income limits are now an issue, they’ve not been in the past.

“It’s been a very successful program,” Powell said. “We’ve always found people to fill the units even though the income guidelines are a little lower than they need to be.”

Powell said that the GCHA is working to change the income limits to more appropriately reflect the median incomes throughout Garfield County. According to Powell, county commissioners have already discussed having different categories for income limits in future lotteries.

“We are working on getting those changed and hopefully in 2009 we will have higher income limits,” Powell said. “We requested income categories so we don’t leave out the families that are at the 80th percent of area median income. So, a certain percentage of the units in a development would still be sold to families within this income bracket, but then we would have a category 2 and category 3, that would raise the income limit some to reach a broader market of people.”

The guidelines are set within the Garfield County Land Use Code which is currently being revised by Garfield County Planning and Zoning Committee and county commissioners, according to Powell. Housing regulations are just one out of 16 articles that are being revised, she said. But she was optimistic to have the revised income limits by fall of 2009.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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