Yampa Valley Housing Authority moving fast to deliver more affordable housing to Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Housing Authority moving fast to deliver more affordable housing to Steamboat

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill approved by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on March 22 increased funding for affordable housing projects like The Reserves in Steamboat Springs by $3.9 billion.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Yampa Valley Housing Authority could select the development partner, or partners, it will rely upon to deliver on its promise to the voters of building more affordable apartment projects as soon as  Jan. 11, when it meets to listen to proposals from interested companies.

On Jan. 11, just 65 days after the 2017 election, when voters in Steamboat and surrounding subdivisions approved a new a one-mill property tax for affordable housing, the YVHA board of directors will meet in open session to hear presentations from two prospective developers.

One is the Overland Group, which completed the 48 income-restricted apartments at The Reserves of Steamboat on Elk River Road. The second is Denver-based Southwest Development Group, which, like Overland, has a lengthy track record in developing a large variety of apartment projects.

"It's exciting. This is what we've been working toward for a very long time," YVHA Executive Director Jason Peasley said. "It's the first step in executing on the development plan that we put forth this summer, and the tax money the voters approved to support," the plan.

The 10-year property tax is expected to generate $900,000 annually for a decade, and the housing authority plans to leverage the $9 million over time to secure grants, federal tax credits and private sector partnerships to build on the success of The Reserves, which are fully leased.

Peasley said Friday that the two developers are coming to his board with plans they generated of their choosing and have identified potential development sites that would still have to be acquired in order to build the projects. 

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One of the two would create an additional 34 apartments that would be targeted for households earning 60 percent or less of the average median income here. The second would create 96 total apartments, 48 for households at 48 percent AMI and another 48 for households between 61 percent and 120 percent of AMI.

YVHA board member Kathi Meyer said Friday she expects that during Thursday's meeting representatives of the two interested companies will be given 15 minutes to present in open session and then the board will spend another 15 minutes asking questions of the principals.

After hearing the proposals from the developers and determining how flexible they are, Meyer  said, the board will go into closed session — as provided by Colorado law — to discuss "negotiating strategy" and talk about the pros and cons of the two proposals.

"The ultimate outcome, I believe, is we will enter into negotiations with one or both of the developers, so that we can formalize a  contract. But ultimately, that's the board's decision," Peasley said.

Peasley added that both proposals depend upon the housing authority's ability to successfully apply for income tax credits similar to those used to bring equity to the development of The Reserves. The tax credits were sold on the financial market to a large corporation, which could benefit from offsetting some of its earnings through the tax credits.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.

If you go

What: Yampa Valley Housing Authority hears, and evaluates proposals from two prospective development partners it could team with to develop new income-restricted affordable apartment projects. Agenda includes an estimated 25-minute closed session in mid meeting.

When: 12 p.m., Jan. 11

Where:  County Commissioners third floor hearing room, Routt County Courthouse, 522 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs.