Board: Housing Authority needs funding

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The Yampa Valley Housing Authority is looking at financing options because it's likely that additional staff will be needed to accommodate expanded workloads, board members said Tuesday.

The board met with the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to review the Housing Authority's draft strategic plan.

The council:

Approved a $50,000 request for the regional aviation radar project.

Agreed with county commissioners about how often to advertise for joint board and commission positions.

Heard a presentation from Steamboat Springs Water Commission officials about the commission's past, present and future.

Approved funding for two public safety building projects: $32,000 for the mountain fire station air conditioning and heating system upgrade and $11,360 for a boiler for the heating system at the animal shelter.

By state statute, multi-jurisdictional housing authorities are required to develop, review, update and implement a plan focused on the management and operation of housing projects and programs.

The authority's main goal issues are: ensuring the financial stability of the authority, land acquisition, project development, housing assistance programs, mobile homes and local government assistance.

During the meeting, council member Susan Dellinger asked board members whether the Housing Authority planned to start charging for its services.

Housing Authority board member and commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said it depends. The potential for a fee will be judged on the city's request for assistance and how it fits in with other work that the Housing Authority is doing, she said.

"We're really constricted with the amount of personnel that we have," said Loui Antonucci, board and council member.

Helping with the city's affordable-housing ordinance during the summer took a lot of time, Housing Authority Executive Director Elizabeth Black said.

"We would have finished sooner with some assistance," she said.

Funding is critical, board member Kathi Meyer said. "The more money we have, the more can do. The less money we have, the less we can do," she said.

Mobile-home programs were also a priority for the Housing Authority, and residents took interest in that topic Tuesday.

Bobbi Hodge, a resident of the Dream Island Mobile Home Community, told authorities that mobile homes are an affordable way for people to own homes.

"Mobile home owners are proud people, and we want to have nice neighborhoods," she said. She proposed that the city build a park, which she said would be well-maintained and would help stabilize rents for the mobile-home community.

The next step in the review process is a hearing during which the public can comment. The Housing Authority board tentatively scheduled the hearing for May 28.

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