Lottery for affordable housing

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A lottery will be held to determine who will get first crack at living in the affordable housing units in Fox Creek Village.

On June 29, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority will draw names to determine who gets first dibs on the 15 or more deed-restricted homes in the Fox Creek Village development.

The first 30 names will be selected for a reservation to buy a Fox Creek condominium, and the remainder of names will go on the waiting list.

A lottery was used in the last affordable housing project, West End Village, and Housing Authority President Kathi Meyer said it is the fairest way to select owners. She noted that lotteries are what most nonprofits do to decide who gets housing when they have more demand than product.

"That way, someone who just found out about the housing has the same chance as someone who has known about the project for six months," Meyer said.

The housing authority already has been taking names for the project, which will have 30 townhome units on four acres off Hilltop Drive. Each unit, ranging between 1,022 and 1,040 square feet, has two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The housing authority has guaranteed to the city that 15 of the 30 units will be deed-restricted affordable housing units. However, Housing Authority Director Elizabeth Black said that depending on the cost of construction and the range of incomes from those who apply for the homes, there could be more.

Meyer said the amount of deed-restricted units would rely heavily on the cost of construction. Potential grants also could determine how many units are deed-restricted.

The housing authority has selected Drahota Construction, out of Fort Collins, to build the project. Black said that by the middle of next week, the authority should have a final estimate about how much the project will cost.

Construction is expected to get under way this summer, with the hopes of owners being able to close on their homes and move in by spring 2006, Black said.

As in West End Village, the homeowners would have to meet certain qualifications that then act as deed restrictions. In West End Village, the homeowner had to work in Routt County, make no more than 120 percent of the average median income and have no more than $250,000 in assets. Right now, the average median income for a family of four is $72,700.

Those interested in being in the lottery for Fox Creek Village can call the housing authority at 870-0167. The housing authority will need the caller's name, number of individuals in the household and employment and income information.

The housing authority will take names at its office until 5 p.m. June 29. Then on the same day from 6 to 7 p.m., the housing authority will take names at Olympian Hall. The drawing will start at 7:30 p.m.

When the housing authority has a core group of 30 names for the condominiums, it will provide homebuyer education classes and technical assistance on financing.

5/9/05 9:01 PM Inches: 12.2 REGULAR BC-CO-XGR-ReportCard 05-09 0514

BC-CO-XGR--Report Card,300

Summary of action on major bills this session

With BC-CO-XGR--Early Finish

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By The Associated Press

Highlights of the 2005 legislative session:

BUDGET REFORM:

Majority Democrats and Republican Gov. Bill Owens announced a plan to fix Colorado's budget crisis after months of partisan bickering. The plan calls for a five-year suspension of taxpayer refunds when there is surplus cash in state coffers -- a move that puts a key constitutional amendment on hold. It would allow the state to spend an estimated $3.1 billion over the next five years. The measure will appear on the November ballot.

EDUCATION:

-- A bill designed to protect professors from political pressure was killed after opponents said the state has the right to keep an eye on how universities spend taxpayers' money. Senate Bill 85 was introduced after the University of Colorado launched an investigation into professor Ward Churchill, who provoked a furor by comparing some Sept. 11 victims to Nazis. Gov. Bill Owens and others have called for Churchill to be fired.

TRANSPORTATION:

-- The Legislature approved two bills offering Gov. Bill Owens a choice resolving disputes over toll roads, like the proposed ''Super Slab'' on the Eastern Plains. One measure (Senate Bill 230) would bar private toll road companies from forcing property owners to sell their land for building roads like the proposed ''Super Slab'' on the Eastern Plains. Gov. Bill Owens has said he has ''significant concerns'' about the bill because he doesn't want to stop private toll roads from being built. House Bill 1342 backed by Super Slab opponents would allow private toll roads to take property by eminent domain but they would have to follow the same rules that the state transportation department does in building new roads.

JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

-- The Legislature killed a bill that would have banned smoking in public places after opponents said Senate Bill 207 will result in a loss of freedom for smokers and a loss of property rights for business owners.

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

-- The Legislature sent to Gov. Bill Owens Senate Bill 102 which requires the state to enter a drug-buying pool with other states to save money on medication for Medicaid patients. It also requires the state to come up with a list of the most effective and cheapest drugs to be prescribed. Some disabled people say this could cut them off from the drugs they rely on and force them to end up in the hospital if one of the drugs interacts with any of the other drugs they take.

WATER:

-- The Legislature sent to Gov. Bill Owens House Bill 1177 that would create a statewide river basins compact committee that would negotiate solutions to Colorado's growing water supply crisis. The bill would establish local roundtables to serve on behalf of basins in water negotiations. The compact is modeled loosely on the Colorado River Compact of 1922, which governs how the water of the Colorado River is divided among seven neighboring states.

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