Housing office receives 286 Burlingame bids
The Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Office received a total of 286 bids for 31 units at the city’s newest affordable housing development before bidding closed yesterday afternoon.Tom McCabe, executive director of the housing office, was pleased with the interest in Burlingame, all things considered.”That is for property that doesn’t allow dogs,” he told the housing authority board Wednesday evening. “Even with that restriction, that’s a pretty impressive turnout.”The four available Category 2 one-bedroom units garnered the most bids, with 55. Another 21 bids were turned in for the three available Category 2 two-bedrooms.Overall, however, Category 3 units garnered 91 bids 48 for the three two-bedrooms and 43 for the four three-bedrooms.Category 4 units netted a total of 83 bids 29 for the lone one-bedroom unit, 29 for the two two-bedrooms and 25 for the two three-bedrooms.The first lottery did not include any Category 1 units, but it did offer the city’s first units in categories 5-7. The categories correspondent to both the incomes/assets of buyers and the price of the units.As expected, the higher category (i.e. more expensive) units didn’t attract as much interest, netting a total of 36 bids for all three categories.The Aspen City Council will use the numbers from this lottery to help establish the category mix in future Burlingame lotteries.Councilwoman Rachel Richards said that’s only one of the criteria she will consider, however. She also wants to see a review of existing affordable housing units as well as “a bell curve of incomes from the job market in Pitkin County.””You probably could sell almost anything you produce at any price, but that’s probably not going to accommodate a lot of the jobs,” she said.The total number of bids is only a rough representation of the community’s interest in different categories, she said. Richards suspects Burlingame might draw more interest if dogs were allowed.Cindy Christensen, operations manager at the housing office, said the total bid numbers don’t tell the whole story about how the lotteries will play out. All 40 bidders for the one-bedroom Category 2 units, for example, might not have the highest priority in the lottery. Furthermore, some bidders likely applied for more than one unit, which can skew the overall numbers as well. The housing office will not have a breakdown of the numbers until later this week.The lotteries will take place at noon on Monday, Sept. 11, but Christensen said would-be homeowners will have to be patient because it could take some time to finalize the results.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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