Another delay for buyers of affordable housing in Ironbridge | AspenTimes.com
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Another delay for buyers of affordable housing in Ironbridge

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – It’s hurry up and wait again for the buyers of four affordable housing units at the bankrupt Ironbridge subdivision who had hoped to close this month, after another title issue arose.

“There was another judgment against the property that we didn’t know was there,” Tom Schmidt, a consultant working with Ironbridge developer LB Rose Ranch LLC, said Monday. “So, we’re trying to get that resolved before we can move forward.”

The discovery means that the four remaining housing lottery winners for deed-restricted units at Ironbridge who have been waiting to move into their units since the fall of 2008, are in a holding pattern yet again.

A Garfield County Community Housing Program lottery for the other eight units that are completed and ready to be occupied that had been scheduled for last week, was also postponed.

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“We didn’t want to bring more people into that situation where sales are delayed, so we decided to postpone the lottery,” said Kathryn Grosscup, program director for the Garfield County Housing Authority.

The housing authority had 15 applicants for the eight units by the Feb. 12 deadline, 11 of which were qualified, Grosscup said.

“We were pleased we had people stepping forward,” she said. “We’re sorry we did have people, and then had to freeze things again.”

Grosscup said she hopes the lottery will be allowed to move forward with the current pool of applicants by the end of next month, when another decision is expected from the federal bankruptcy court in New York state regarding the Ironbridge units.

“It’s frustrating, because these are units that are built and ready to go,” Grosscup said. “It’s just a function of the bankruptcy, and not the market or the prices or anything like that.”

Four buyers were scheduled to close this month who were among the original group of housing lottery winners for 10 of the 20 affordable housing units at Ironbridge, a golf course development five miles south of Glenwood Springs.

The original lottery took place in September 2008, and many of the buyers had been scheduled to close on their new homes early last year.

LB Rose Ranch LLC, a subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York in February 2009, leaving the prospective buyers hanging and stalling final construction and sales of the remaining affordable housing, as well as 100 free-market units.

Last fall, the bankruptcy court released the 20 affordable housing units, 12 of which are fully built, to be sold.

“What we thought was taken care of when the court put that order out apparently wasn’t,” Schmidt said. “Hopefully, we can get it taken care of so we can complete the sales and finish work on the last eight units.”

Schmidt said he still hopes the remaining units can be completed and under contract by April 30 in order for buyers to qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer federal tax credit, which expires at that time.

The eight units for which the lottery was postponed are 1,427-square-foot, two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath, single-family homes with a two-car garage, kitchen appliances included, for $230,000 to qualified buyers.

Maximum household income for the units is $60,000 for one person, $68,520 for two people, $77,160 for three people, $85,680 for four people and $92,520 for a five-person household, according to the housing authority’s eligibility requirements.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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