CB’s affordable housing success story

Anthracite Place coming up on two successful years

By Cayla Vidmar

In August 2016, the first tenants at Anthracite Place, located next to Clark’s Market, moved in, and two years later, the apartments are seeing a 98.7 percent annual occupancy rate, according to Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority executive director Jennifer Kermode. She credits this success to numerous things, including demand and good property management.

The project has the capacity to house 66 full-time residents and has a mix of units, including 24 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom units.

Anthracite Place utilizes the low-income housing tax credit, which is a dollar-to-dollar tax credit created under the Tax Reform Act of 1986. This credit provides tax credit incentives for private investors to develop housing for low-income Americans.

“Anthracite Place has apartments earmarked for employees who make under 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), and some units earmarked for employees who make under 60 percent of income,” according to the FAQs page on the Anthracite Place website.

The limits for income eligibility are based on number of individuals in a household and income, the range for which can be found at gvrha.org.

According to Kermode, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes the AMI limits on an annual basis, and the Gunnison County AMI went down in 2018, which means programs (like Anthracite Place) that tie income eligibility with the AMI could be affected.

“At Anthracite Place, tenants can remain in their units until their income exceeds 140 percent of what their original income was at move-in,” writes Kermode. For instance, if a one-person household has an income of $19,800 per year when they move into a 50 percent AMI apartment, if their income grows to exceed $27,720, they would be ineligible to remain in their apartment, according to Kermode. She continues by explaining that HUD uses the US Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey income data to calculate 2018 AMIs, “so it’s not really measuring ‘real-time, real-place’ data.”

The Anthracite Place receives federal funding, therefore certain federal laws, including those for marijuana, must be followed, regardless of state regulations. “We do not allow smoking of any kind in the building … and marijuana may not be smoked on any part of the property,” says Kermode.

Since Anthracite Place opened its doors in 2016, 43 households have lived in the development, 14 of which moved in when it opened and have remained in the building, according to Kermode. In 2017, there were 12 units that saw turnover, and two so far in 2018. According to Kermode, “Most who vacate their unit leave the valley for new employment opportunities or family reasons.”

Currently there are 15 households on the waitlist, and some of those are current residents hoping to move into a larger, two-bedroom unit. Kermode says Anthracite Place is considered a very successful project by the community and investors, and credits that success to “lack of affordable housing at the north end of the valley, with no shortage of demand, along with good property management.”

Interested applicants can view FAQs and submit an application for the waitlist at gvrha.org, and may direct questions to the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority at (970) 641-7900.

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