Affordable housing grants available

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— Nonprofit agencies in Routt County have until July 25 to apply for $36,000 in grants for affordable housing projects.

The Steamboat Springs Board of REALTORS will allocate the money for Routt County on behalf of the Colorado Association of REALTORS Housing Opportunity Foundation, or CARHOF, which distributed more than $630,000 statewide in 2006. To be eligible for a grant, organizations must be based in Colorado, have a housing-related mission and be a registered nonprofit agency.

Steamboat Springs Board of REALTORS member Jody Condie said she can recall only one application for a CARHOF grant ever being denied. So far, Condie said two local applications have been received. Seven grants were awarded last year to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, Routt County Habitat for Humanity, Horizons Specialized Services, LIFT-UP of Routt County, Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, the Routt County Foundation for Senior Citizens and West Routt Housing.

Condie said the $36,000 available this year is the most CARHOF has ever made available in Routt County.

"It's just increasing every year," Condie said.

Money for the grants comes from interest earned on earnest money held in home purchases. When a homebuyer puts up earnest money to purchase a home, it is deposited in an interest-bearing account. By law, brokers cannot earn interest from these funds. Instead, the interest is gathered by CARHOF and granted to organizations to aid affordable housing projects, crisis shelters and other housing-related projects.

For more information, including a grant application, call Condie at 879-4663, ext. 11, or visit www.ssbr.org.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

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