Homestead affordable housing project delayed again

Completion now anticipated for June ‘22

[ By Kendra Walker ]

Even with signs of construction activity still apparent up at the Homestead subdivision, the much-anticipated Mt. Crested Butte affordable housing project is experiencing major delays. A project that was anticipated to be ready for move-in by the end of this year is now projected for spring or summer of 2022.

The developer of the 22-unit Homestead affordable housing subdivision project, Lance Windell of Homestead Housing, LLC, has informed the town of Mt. Crested Butte that there have been delays in receiving construction materials, such as insulating concrete forms (ICFs) and roof trusses, despite some of the materials being ordered early. After several emails and phone call attempts to Windell over the past month, the Crested Butte News received a brief reply by email this week.

“All we can really say at this point is construction on the project is still proceeding. Prospect Homestead has experienced materials and labor delays and shortages just like the rest of the local construction industry,” wrote Windell. “We have been and are continuing to cooperate with the Town on the project in good faith.”

“The Town is working with the builder to focus their energy on buildings four, five, and six,” said town manager Isa Reeb. “This includes getting them dried-in before winter so work can be completed by spring. Regarding these buildings, the Town continues to be the regulatory agency, so we are working with the builder’s team to ensure building codes and design guidelines are being followed. We are also working with the builder to determine the schedule for buildings one, two, three, seven, and eight. These buildings are a work in progress, and we will share more when negotiations are complete.”

Since construction began, there have also been some design changes that could be contributing to the delays. “Any change proposed first goes through a regulatory review and then if this proposed change meets regulation, the town will request that the builder get permission from the buyer(s) prior to any final approval from the town,” explained Mt. Crested Butte’s communications and marketing officer Marisa Maudsley. “For example, the garage door height on one duplex does not meet the design guideline requirements for Homestead and will have to be changed. Additionally, the developer is proposing to change the roofing material from metal to an asphalt shingle, similar to the two existing triplexes in Homestead.

This is technically allowed, but the town has yet to approve the proposed design changes from the developer since they have not provided sufficient information to approve this change.”

The developer owns the land, but is still under contract with the town, which states the developer must build 22 units and sell at prices predetermined in the contract. “If the developer does not meet the obligations of the contract, then the property goes back to the town,” said Maudsley.

The town also said that the Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority (GVRHA) is working with each buyer to ensure they have an alternative housing solution. In June 2020, the GVRHA held a lottery for pre-qualified applicants and the available 20 units were claimed and purchased.

The town purchased two of the Homestead units to be used for town employee housing. At that time, the units were anticipated to be ready for move-in within the year, and town manager Isa Reeb’s employment contract included a three-bedroom Homestead unit for move-in by December, for which she would pay $1,500 a month.

However, the town has changed their plan. “The town is no longer purchasing a unit in building four so another family in the lottery can move in earlier,” said Maudsley. “This process has not yet been started with the housing authority and broker, but it is in the works.

Reeb has found housing in the interim and the town council has agreed to provide Reeb with a stipend of $1,000/month for housing until something comes along for the town to purchase.

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