New Castle senior housing project receives tax credit
Construction on a long-anticipated affordable senior housing development in New Castle is poised to start in the spring following the award of a nearly $1 million tax credit announced last week.
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) awarded a $913,656 low income housing tax credit to the developer, Community Resources & Housing Development Corp. (CRHDC) — a Colorado nonprofit that developed and manages the existing New Castle Senior Housing facility.
The new project, officially known as the Lakota Ridge Senior Apartments, is one of 13 across the state to receive funding in this second round of tax credits awarded by CHFA in 2016. CRHDC had previously sought the tax credit in 2015, but was unsuccessful in its attempt.
Although engineering work will still be needed to satisfy conditions set by the Town Council in early August, the funding element was one of the largest remaining hurdles, and CRHDC intends to start construction this spring, Tom Baker, town administrator, informed council last week.
The news drew applause and excitement from members of council, as well as a brief response from New Castle Mayor Art Riddile.
“Fantastic,” he said.
The facility has been in the works for some time, with conversations on the project dating back roughly four years.
Representatives from the town and CRHDC met at a housing conference in the fall of 2013 to discuss the new facility, which at the time included 37 units and a community center, the Post Independent previously reported. A market analysis requested by the town concluded the area could support 50 units.
“We’ve been working a long time to ensure that the project we develop meets the needs of the community,” Carly Johansson, director of real estate development for CRHDC, said in a press release.
Her comments echo those of former Mayor Bob Gordon, who, after voting in favor of fee reductions and a land purchase option in the spring of 2015, noted a tremendous need for such facilities in New Castle.
The existing senior housing facility in town, which according to its website has 23 apartments, has 47 applicants currently on a waiting list, Leslie Means, property manager of the New Castle Senior Housing facility, said Tuesday. Additionally, 39 people have expressed interest and pre-qualified for a spot in the planned facility.
Additional senior housing has been a priority of council’s in recent years. Most recently the town explored the possibility of purchasing approximately 22 acres owned by the Kuersten family for $800,000. The plan was to involve some senior housing development on the property.
Although there was strong support for the idea at a community meeting earlier this year, a previously conducted preliminary demand analysis found varying levels of demand for unassisted living units, such as patio homes, but decreasing levels of demand as the level of care increased.
Some members of council questioned the results, but there was never enough interest from the private sector and the town in July ultimately backed off the option to purchase the property.
In total, the new facility will have 40 one-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom units aimed at lower income residents 55 and older.
According to information provided by CHFA, 30 of the units will be priced at 60 percent of the median area income, with 10 units at 50 percent, five at 40 percent and five at 30 percent.
The Garfield County Housing Authority will join the project as a limited partner and allocate project-based vouchers, according to CRHDC.
That partnership, along with fee waivers and reductions from the town, will help ensure the units remain affordable.
“The community overall has been very supportive of the development,” Al Gold, executive director of CRHDC, said in the press release. “Never before have we seen such a positive reaction to the development of affordable units from both the community’s leadership and its residents.”
CRHDC still must purchase the property from the town, which has agreed to sell the land for $197,500 in a purchase option that expires in mid-December. CRHDC intends to purchase the property before then, Robin Wolff, CRHDC deputy director, said in an email Tuesday.
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