Plan adds low-end housing, no parking | AspenTimes.com
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Plan adds low-end housing, no parking

A recently approved redevelopment project at 719 E. Hopkins Ave. will add three new affordable housing units the county sorely needs, according to housing board member Marcia Goshorn.The new units are Category 2, which account for roughly 20 percent of the county housing pool’s rental units and 10 percent of the ownership units. To be eligible for a Category 2 unit, an applicant cannot make more than $47,000 per year – couples cannot earn more than $70,000 combined – or have more than $125,000 in net assets.”I think we need a lot more of the lower categories,” Goshorn said. “I don’t know many people who make $60,000 a year.”The original Hopkins Avenue project called for the affordable units to be below grade, but when the developers presented revisions to council Monday night, they had amended the plan to raise the units to at least 50 percent above ground.Council was pleased with those revisions.”I find the project improved greatly,” Councilwoman Rachel Richards said. “I appreciate your efforts.”Goshorn said the housing board prefers to see affordable housing mitigation incorporated as units built on site, rather than off-site housing or deals involving cash-in-lieu payments.”All the money in the world doesn’t matter when you don’t have any land to build on,” she said.The three new units, two studios and one two-bedroom, are significantly larger than the six free-market units on the property now. Goshorn said those units were “on the low end of the free market.””Part of what kept their rent affordable was they were very small,” she said.Although council and the housing board are pleased with the improved “livability” of the units, some council members still had concerns about parking. Currently there are no spaces on the property. The new building will offer two parking spaces to each of the free-market units but none for the affordable housing. Council was bothered by the idea that the newly created spaces have the potential to sit empty while full-time residents in the affordable units have nowhere to park.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is aeagye@aspentimes.com


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