$100k equity agreement from county keeps the
The Gunnison County Board of Commissioners earmarked $100,000 for the affordable housing project at Crested Butte’s Anthracite Place on Tuesday, December 16. This puts the community one step closer to affordable housing at Sixth and Belleview.
Looking at the housing market lately it’s obvious that local, safe and affordable housing for residents of the Gunnison Valley is hard to come by. “Our market study for the project showed approximately 200 households that would be in demand of the 30 rental units to be built in Crested Butte,” said Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority executive director Karl Fulmer. “The trend toward converting long-term rentals to vacation units has also whittled away the housing supply.”
At the request of the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority (GVRHA), the Gunnison Valley Housing Foundation had already committed $400,000 of the $500,000 that is to be held in a liquidity reserve from the time construction begins (approximately May 15, 2015) through completion. This new sum matches the $500,000 put up by investors to guarantee the project and provide a line of defense in case problems arise during construction.
“We went ahead and approved the $100,000 so the project will move forward,” Commissioner Phil Chamberland said after Tuesday’s meeting. “It’s a good investment for the community. Affordable rentals are few and far between here in the valley. It’s not costing us anything. We just have to put aside the money for a few years and we’ll put it back into the affordable housing ‘pot’ for other projects in the future.”
Gunnison County finance director Linda Nienhueser said in an email Monday, December 15 that the GVRHA asked Gunnison County for a total of $255,000 for the project. She wrote, “$30,000 by May, 2014 and the balance of $255,000 was expected to be needed by July, 2014, but was actually paid this month. The $100,000 is only being held in a reserve account, not actually used for the project and should be returned according to that agreement when released.”
The project is currently working through the review process with Crested Butte Board of Zoning and Architectural Review (BOZAR). Approval is expected this winter and construction should begin in the spring.