Glenwood sets second housing lottery |

Glenwood sets second housing lottery

Dennis Webb
Glenwood Springs correspondent

Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Four people rather than just one will be the lucky winners when the city of Glenwood Springs holds its next affordable housing lottery.

Applications are being taken for the March 6 lottery, which will determine those who get to buy four townhouses to be sold below market prices. One unit was made available under the city’s first lottery earlier this year.

The odds of winning the lottery may not be any better this time around, though. The city also has relaxed its eligibility requirements for the fledgling program, which is expected to increase competition for available units.

Jill Peterson, a city planner overseeing the sale, said interest in the units already has been strong. She said she had gotten about 20 calls on Tuesday by midday, and 10 on Monday.

She attributes the interest to the higher eligibility requirements and the growing difficulty finding affordable housing in the area.

“Look in the newspaper. It kind of tells the story of what’s available. It becomes increasingly more difficult, as you know,” she said.

The city’s housing program requires developers of subdivisions and multifamily housing projects to provide 15 percent of their units as housing that will be sold at below-market rates. Alternatively, they can pay a fee into a city fund for affordable housing.

The city made its first unit available under the program in 2005, but only one eligible person applied. Last year, it held a lottery after six eligible residents applied for a townhouse in the Overlin Park subdivision.

Still, city officials worried that too many interested residents were being precluded from applying for the program under its eligibility requirements. In December, City Council raised the maximum allowable incomes of applicants.

It created two new program categories. One is for those earning up to 100 percent for Garfield County median income, and is applicable to units selling at a price affordable to people making 90 percent of median income. The other is for those earning up to 120 percent of the median income, for homes priced to be affordable for people earning 110 percent of the median income.

Maximum eligible incomes for those applying to the first category range from $44,200 for a one-person household to $63,200 for a four-person household. The range for the second category is $52,040 to $75,840.

Two more Overlin Park townhouses are being sold in the latest lottery. One will be priced at $200,842, for a buyer in the first category, and the other costs $245,368. Each is a 1,128-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath unit, with a one-car garage.

By comparison, one free-market, new Overlin Park townhouse is currently being advertised for sale for $329,000.

Also for sale under the city program are two Timber Creek townhouses on Donegan Road in West Glenwood. Each measures 992 square feet and has two bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage. One is priced at $178,526, and the other at $218,316.

The affordable housing units are deed-restricted to limit their appreciation in value each year and prevent buyers from turning around and selling them at market prices.

Some eligible applicants can increase their chances of winning the lottery by applying for homes being sold in both income categories. Peterson said these people would have incomes low enough for the first category, but also might have assets that make the higher-priced units affordable to them as well, depending on interest rates and what other debt they have.

Applicants are allowed to have $100,000 in assets. They must be full-time employees in Glenwood for a business with its principal office in Glenwood, retirees who had worked full-time in town for four years just prior to retiring, disabled persons who had worked full-time in Glenwood just before becoming disabled, or spouses of any of the above.

Application are due Feb. 5. For more information and to apply, contact Peterson at 384-6407 or Garfield County Housing Authority Executive Director Geneva Powell at 384-6446 or 625-3589.