Ruby seeing some interest but still a few empty beds left

Too many regs?

[ By Mark Reaman ]

While the rooms are getting filled, there isn’t a long line of people waiting to secure a space in the former Ruby Bed and Breakfast building. The Ruby was purchased by the town of Crested Butte early this summer in response to the need for some affordable housing for seasonal workers. The $2.3 million purchase provided six rooms and nine beds and the original intent was to provide a place for seasonal employees of the town like those working in parks and recreation. As of this week, two beds are claimed and the people have moved in. The “suite” with three beds is still available.

“We have move-ins coming up for the five single-bed rooms for individuals who are employed with local businesses,” said Gunnison Valley Regional Housing Authority executive director Jennifer Kermode, who is managing the site. “All are very grateful for the opportunity to have such a nice roof over their heads! So far, a household that has enough members in it to occupy the room with the loft and extra beds has not committed to moving in, although we have had a few inquire about it.”

Rent is $500 a month per bed and includes most utilities. The 3,300-square-foot building has a shared kitchen and there are two common areas. The town spent the summer making upgrades to appliances. While there is a common powder room on the main floor, all bedrooms on the main floor have their own, private full bathroom. One upstairs bedroom has its bathroom in the hallway. The upstairs loft has its own bathroom as well.

There are several restrictions on the property, and the tenants and Kermode said that despite the obvious housing need in the valley, that perhaps has deterred some from applying to live in the space.

“It has been an interesting process this summer. We had the very vocal and heartfelt pleas earlier this summer for housing options and when the town stepped up and made this purchase (and the commitment to providing solutions), the interest has waned,” said Kermode. “I’m not sure what to attribute that to. It could be the ‘social’ side – we have regulations on no smoking in the building, no pets, no allowance for having friends camp out in the living rooms, etc., which, we have heard from some folks turns them off. It could be the timing since winter jobs haven’t started yet so the need isn’t as immediate as it will be. It certainly shouldn’t be the affordable side since you can’t get much cheaper rent for a really, really decent place to live.”

The Housing Authority is managing the applications and administration of the building and the town is paying a $1,000/month management fee for the service.

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