Hashing out housing

City, county, Yampa Valley Housing Authority meet tonight

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Past Event

Christian Sportsman's meeting

  • Thursday, November 2, 2006, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Anchor Way Baptist Church, 40650 Anchor Way, Steamboat II neighborhood, Steamboat, CO
  • All ages / Free

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Agenda

5 p.m. Joint meeting with Routt County Board of Commissioners and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority

7 p.m. Public comment; U.S. 40 access control plan; concurrency management; public works capital improvement program

— Donna Howell wants one thing from today's joint meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council, the Routt County Board of Commissioners and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority: clarification.

Howell, executive director of the Housing Authority, said defining the roles and responsibilities between her agency and the city when it comes to providing affordable housing is the primary goal of the meeting. Concerns have been raised that the two bodies have set themselves up to duplicate efforts - or even compete.

The Housing Authority was formed by an intergovernmental agreement between the city and county in 2003 to provide housing for families of low or moderate incomes in Routt County. In the past year, the city has passed affordable housing legislation, established an affordable housing fund and hired Community Housing Coordinator Nancy Engelken. The Housing Authority also has added a position for a housing qualifications specialist.

"There's a real opportunity for duplication here, and we want to make sure that doesn't happen," said County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, a member of the Housing Authority's board of directors.

Howell said she wants to know whether the city intends to be "in the housing business," but Engelken said that phrase has created confusion.

"There has been a lack of understanding about what it means to be in the affordable housing business," Engelken said. "Our intent is not to be in that business of creating and operating affordable housing ourselves."

However, Engelken said the city will be in the housing business when it comes to other efforts, such as community education and the administration of affordable housing resources. One such resource is the money generated from the city's affordable housing legislation passed last year.

Whether the Housing Authority will be allocated any of those funds - and if so, how it will access them - is another topic likely for discussion tonight. Engelken said the city's community plan specifically says the city should work with not only the Housing Authority, but also private developers. She said when it comes to putting housing funds to use, the city likely will send out requests for proposals that the Housing Authority could respond to.

"We want to look at what the best proposals are for community housing," Engelken said. "We think the (request for proposal) format is the best way to go."

Under this scenario, the Housing Authority would not be in competition with the city, but its success competing against private developers to win the city's bids could determine its future. Even members of its board have discussed dissolving the Housing Authority. Stahoviak said Housing Authority board members want to feel they're serving a viable purpose. She said if they're not, then perhaps the body should cease to exist.

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

ColoradoNative 6 years, 8 months ago

Good post three jobs.

Those are all questions I'm sure the housing authority would cringe at answering.

Shed one of your jobs Threejobs and go work for the pilot! Sounds like you wouldn't be afraid to ask the tough questions!

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ThreeJobs 6 years, 8 months ago

Brandon,

How about some real investigative reporting instead of just this "surface scratching" that is printed.

How much money is collected? How is it spent? How many units currently are "deed restricted housing?" Who is living in them? Any renting any rooms out?
How many units are being built? What is the cost added to market rate units as a result? What is the cost? Who qualifies? What are the restrictions? Who wants to buy into the program? Who wants to own dead restricted housing? Who would like to rent a market reate apartment ? How are Wlamart, City market, and the Ski corp and others participating in employee housing? How many percent of total and actual number are involved?

How many city employees are living at Iron Horse? Is there a waiting list or is there very little demand?

These questions have been asking repeatedly in the forum but no answers have EVER been offered. Apparently none of the proponents want the real picture displayed. I'm not surprised. What I think you will find is a program that is fundamentally flawed both in concept and reality. What I think you will conclude is that restricting the market only drives prices higher and excludes more people

Take an in depth look at the policy and results. Step it up. BE A REAL REPORTER! Do a series of articles. Perhaps one each week to allow time to really get the facts. Print the facts!

From here it looks like another bloated government program that has no hope of producing anything but a paycheck for those on staff. Shine the light. Take a real look.

.

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boatski 6 years, 8 months ago

ThreeJobs - I agree what about some hard facts about the whole affordable housing issue.

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thecondoguy1 6 years, 8 months ago

Now here is your clarification: dissolve these meddling organizations and end any involvement the city has in housing, let the free market do it's work................ There ya go all the clairification you need.............................

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corduroy 6 years, 8 months ago

http://www.yampavalley.info/housing1059554.asp

essentially a single person who makes less than $41,250 qualifies as low income 80% AMI but a couple has to make less than $47,100 to qualify for the same thing.. Most couples I know both work, a difference of only 5 grand is just stupid.

Nevermind all the info on that page is from 2005.. come on people, if you want to get people interested, at least update your info on your website.. I'll do it for you, contact me

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 8 months ago

So where does the city stop? If we are providing housing for people then why not subsidize vehicles? why not cash for gas? what about groceries?

For the 1,000th time. We have a supply/demand issue. Land is available in the valley. Lower the cost of the land to the developer and you have affordable units. Density and zoning is the key to reducing land cost to the developer.

SBVOR run for city council and be done with it.

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JustAsking 6 years, 8 months ago

I totally agree with "Threejobs". Brandon, the PILOT needs to take the lead here and do some MEANINGFUL REPORTING. Very valid questions have been raised that deserve answers.

Here is another to add to the list:

What is the status of the trailer park purchase? Wasn't the plan to sell lots to those living there? Just how is that working out? Show us the NUMBERS!

Is this just another example that underscores that the city should not be in the socialist housing business or trying to subvert the free market?

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SilverSpoon 6 years, 8 months ago

Some quick math. 6.5% interest on 5.2 million is: $28,200 per month in interest only. Lets say affordable housing was $400/person; 70.5 "employees" could use the interest to pay rent, not to mention principal needs to be paid. I wonder what the return on investment is for those who hold certificates of participation. With a failing stock market, a 6.5% return doesn't look half bad, and the city won't be able to get out early, just like any bad mortgage with early payment penalties. Subsidizing just city employees doesn't make sense. In reality all workers: taco bell workers, nurses, teachers, garbage workers, and hundreds of others should have their rent paid too.

"The city funded its purchase of the Iron Horse Inn by issuing certificates of participation in the amount of $5,285,000, with an average interest rate of 6.48 percent. That amount was to cover a $4.05 million purchase price, $1 million for renovations and $235,000 to pay the costs of issuing the certificates, a form of borrowing. The term of the financing is 25 years."

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ColoradoNative 6 years, 8 months ago

OUCH! $338,400 in interest only per year. I guess I didn't realize the city basically did a zero down deal. Can anyone confirm the terms of the IronHorse?

Steve Lewis to the podium. Steve Lewis to the podium.

Good job SilverSpoon. You should post your info on the IronHorse thread for others to see.

How many obvious reasons does City Council need to get the city out of this deal? I've outlined my plan several times. With some open discussion in the community at city council meetings I think it could fly and be a win/win for the city, people that need housing, and employers.

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letomayo 6 years, 8 months ago

Howell wants clarafication. Isn't that what she wanted from the board? Is that her way of leading into another buyout like she did before when she just needed clarafication when she didn't want to follow direction from the board and that led to her not doing what the board wanted and bad cycle of no action happened which ended up in her being fired and given money.

Does she have a contract with the housing awthorirty that says she gets her money even when she doesn't do a good job. Does the awthority have a board and who is her boss?

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id04sp 6 years, 8 months ago

The housing authority is just another way to funnel taxpayer dollars into salaries for administrators. They don't have to do any good, or make any contribution. The just need to keep the pot stirred over a problem that cannot be solved, and collect their salaries in the name of "doing something."

Why not have them just stay home and stop causing trouble, and pay them to stay there. That would be cheaper than paying for lights, rent, etc.

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424now 6 years, 8 months ago

Hmmmmm...

So the authority (Engelken) is hiring a housing qualifications specialist to see who can borrow from the tax fund. Will this specialist be reviewing applications for home loans submitted by people earning 80% of the madian income?

Perhaps this is two much work for only one specialist. She will need a support staff. They will require office space. That will have to be centrally located.

Downtown real estate is pricy you know. How much management will it take to administer this Fund?

I wonder who this new qualifications speacialist will be?

I wonder what the required qualifications will be?

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