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Town working to keep Poverty Gulch unit affordable

CB didn’t bid enough for foreclosed unit

By Mark Reaman

The town of Crested Butte is exploring its options on how best to acquire a deed restricted affordable housing unit that was bought on the courthouse steps out of foreclosure last week.

The certificate of purchase for Unit 1 of the 10-unit Poverty Gulch affordable housing complex on the northeast side of town was sold to a local real estate agent last Wednesday in a treasurer’s auction. The unit had gone into foreclosure when the current owner did not pay his mortgage, along with other loans and obligations associated with the unit. The town had bid to purchase the property at the auction for $90,000. The certificate went for $93,000.

“The town is in the midst of exploring all its options and we hope to work with the successful bidder and see if we can come to a mutual agreement that will be brought to the council at this Monday’s town council meeting,” explained town planner Michael Yerman.

Generally, under town deed restrictions associated with affordable housing in Crested Butte, the town holds an option or right to purchase the deed-restricted property if it goes into foreclosure. Deed restrictions vary between the different affordable housing units in Crested Butte. If the option is not exercised, the property can be sold and that particular deed restriction could be eliminated.

Yerman explained that buying the unit at the county treasurer auction “is the easiest, cheapest, cleanest option for the town to acquire the unit. To act on the deed restriction is a process and that is what we now are undergoing in this particular case.

“The town believes it has several pathways to obtain the unit under the deed restrictions and keep the unit in the affordable housing pool,” continued Yerman. “It will be up to the Town Council on how to proceed but we hope to work something out with the successful bidder.”

A meeting between the two parties is slated for this week.

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