Residents finally able to move into affordable housing at Ironbridge | AspenTimes.com
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Residents finally able to move into affordable housing at Ironbridge

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The 20-unit affordable housing neighborhood at the Ironbridge subdivision finally has signs of life, as a handful of units are now occupied and several more are being offered first-come, first-served without another lottery.

Buyers of four of the deed-restricted units at the bankrupt Ironbridge subdivision between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, who were selected in a 2008 lottery and have been waiting since then to close, finally were able to do so earlier this spring.

The buyers had hoped to close in February, but another title issue arose in the bankruptcy case and they were made to wait awhile longer.

A lottery to choose buyers for eight more units from a pool of qualified applicants that had been scheduled at the time was also postponed.

However, the initial units were finally released for final sale and are now either occupied or set for closing, said Kathryn Grosscup, program director for the Garfield County Housing Authority.

An open house took place on Saturday to showcase eight completed units that are now available for sale to qualified buyers.

The 1,427-square-foot, two-story, single-family houses with three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage are going for $230,000 to qualified buyers making up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), depending on family size. Buyers may also have no more than $100,000 in household assets, and the houses must serve as the buyer’s primary residence.

“We are required to have a lottery, but we’ve had two lotteries already, so at this point we’re just doing it first-come, first served,” Grosscup said.

An additional eight deed-restricted units are still to be finished, for which there will likely be a lottery depending on the level of interest.

“With the last lottery, we were trying to make it an opportunity for people to take advantage of the federal first-time homebuyer credit,” Grosscup said. “However, a buyer had to be under contract by April 30 in order to qualify.”

The program offered an $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers.

The lottery also provides a mechanism for buyers to select a preferred house or lot, Grosscup explained.

“We have moved through everyone we had in the lotteries, and they’ve either chosen to enter into contracts, or they’ve decided to pursue other opportunities,” she said.

Another open house for the available units is likely to take place soon, possibly this weekend, she said.

Applications for the Ironbridge units is available on the Garfield County Housing Authority’s website, at http://www.garfieldhousing.com.

The original lottery for the Ironbridge units took place in September 2008, and many of the buyers had been scheduled to close in early 2009 before the bankruptcy court intervened.

Developer 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 at that time, leaving the prospective buyers in limbo 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.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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