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Affordable homes offered at Moore

A project that could be the cream of the employee housing crop will give families a chance to own a single-family home in the Aspen area by the end of the year.

Construction will start in June on eight of the 31 affordable housing units approved in the Moore family project on Aspen’s western outskirt. The first eight should be finished by December 1999, according to Dwayne Romero, project supervisor for Hines Resorts, which is overseeing the work.

Construction will start on seven other homes next fall and they will be ready for occupancy by spring 2000.

Of the 15 homes that will be started this year, nine will be offered through a lottery held by the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority. The other six will be reserved for employees of the Aspen School District or Aspen Valley Hospital, according to Romero.

By the time the project is finished in spring 2001, it will include 31 affordable housing units and 40 free-market units – all of them single-family homes.

Romero said 18 of the 31 affordable housing units will be offered to qualified employees of Pitkin County businesses through a lottery. The other 13 will be reserved for employees of the schools and hospital.

Those homes will meet a tremendous need, said Dave Tolen, executive director of the Housing Authority.

Working families find it increasingly difficult to buy a single-family home anywhere in the Roaring Fork Valley as real estate prices continue to soar. Affordable homes are almost nonexistent in the upper valley, where the average home price has topped $2 million.

Tolen said the last lottery for single-family homes attracted more than 100 applicants for three lots in Castle Creek Valley Ranch. He anticipates the Moore housing will be at least as popular.

“Single-family homes are very much in demand here,” said Tolen.

Priorities in the lottery will be given to families. Tolen said the goal is to hold the lottery for units one month before they are finished.

The first phase of homes in the Moore family project will be a mix of three- and four-bedrooms. They will be from 1,500 to 1,700 square feet, excluding the attached garage on each, said Romero.

All of the homes will be in either Category 3 or 4 of the Housing Authority guidelines. Those categories set maximum income guidelines and maximum sale prices on specific units.

The second phase of affordable housing units will be larger, ranging from 1,500 to 1,800 square feet, plus a garage.

The project is now known as Five Trees after the different species of trees found on the site. The property is located adjacent to the Meadowood subdivision and the public school’s Maroon Creek campus.

“It’s really kind of an ideal place to live,” said Glenn Horn, the land-use planner for project.

The site has 179 acres in all, of which 105 acres were preserved as open space and 16 acres were sold to the city of Aspen for recreational use. Development of the 71 free-market and deed-restricted units is restricted to the 58 remaining acres.

Horn said he believes Five Trees has the potential to be one of the best affordable housing projects ever built in the county, and an example of what the free market is capable of producing.


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