Steamboat Springs After waiting almost three years to buy a house in Steamboat's first affordable housing project, Michael Beyer watched his home go up in an afternoon. Beyer's home was the first to arrive in the West End Village development. On Wednesday afternoon he stood with tool belt in tow and watched as cranes lifted parts of the modular home off of truck trailers and onto a foundation Beyer helped lay.
"It is really exciting," Beyer said.
In one of the last stages of Steamboat's first homeowner affordable housing project, Beyer's house was the first to go up and two more homes went up on Thursday.
The modular homes, which were built in Nebraska, are being trucked in as the foundations for the lots are finished.
The Regional Affordable Living Foundation is nearing the completion of its project to bring 24 single-family and seven duplex homes to Steamboat.
The nonprofit organization offered special subsidies and financing deals.
The homes are deed restricted to make sure an affordable housing stock stays in Steamboat.
It took more than five years, 1,000 meetings and 250 families to make West End Village a reality, RALF Board President Karen Beauvais said.
RALF's former director Rob Dick and current director Ellen Hoj watched Wednesday as the first house was placed on the lot.
"It is very exciting," Dick said with a grin. "It has been a long time coming."
It was a long wait for Beyer too. Beyer, who has lived in Steamboat for eight years, put his name on the West End Village list three years ago.
During last summer's housing lottery,
when close to 200 names were randomly pulled to determine who would get the lots, Beyer came up 77th on the list.
"There were only about 30 RALF lots and I thought no way was it going to work for me," Beyer said.
As those on the list started to drop out because they couldn't qualify for financing, moved away or no longer met RALF's qualifications for an affordable housing subsidy, Beyer's name soon made its way to the top of the list.
When a lot did come up, Beyer almost did not take it because the financing seemed a little out of his price range.
After looking at his other home-buying options in Steamboat, he changed his mind and went for the lot.
He struck a deal with Dave Combs, who is working with Heritage Homes to bring the homes to West End Village.
He also is cutting some of the costs by doing work on the home.
Beyer also said the West End Village development will be full of familiar faces.
He can point to the lots where his friends plan on moving and his next- door neighbor is a co-worker.
Dick said all of the lots are spoken for, but financing has not been finalized for two.
Homes will be moving onto the lots for the next couple of weeks and homeowners are expected to be moving in by the end of the summer
Tony Connell, who is the developer on the West End Village Project, also had 43 units on the free market for sale.
-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229 or