Breckenridge workforce housing project awarded $13 million in funding
BRECKENRIDGE — Breckenridge is well on its way to having a new workforce housing community thanks to Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding.
Developers have chosen Alta Verde as the name for a new workforce housing project, which will be built on the 128-acre McCain property between Coyne Valley Road and the Fairview Boulevard roundabout in Breckenridge.
The project, which will be developed by Gorman & Co. in partnership with the town of Breckenridge, was awarded 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding or $13 million to be used over the course of 10 years.
The developers expect to break ground on Alta Verde in spring 2021. It will offer 80 workforce housing units, ranging from one to three bedrooms. The apartments will be offered to people whose income falls within 30% to 60% of the median income for the area. For a family of four in Summit County, area median income is $95,900, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Rent costs will range from $433 to $1,280, depending on the number of rooms and the renters’ income.
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Amy Priegel, executive director of the Summit Combined Housing Authority, said projects like Alta Verde are desperately needed in Summit County, especially as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the nation’s economy.
In 2019, renters made up about 40% of Summit County’s population and only 12% of those renters were able to live in apartment buildings, Priegel said.
“The other 88% are just the individual landlords, sleeping on somebody’s couch, needing a roommate, things like that,” she said. “That’s fine, and it works OK for us up here, but it’s not ideal, and you really see it’s not ideal in situations like what just happened with COVID.”
Kimball Crangle, Colorado president for Gorman & Co., said the tax credit funding is “exceptionally scarce and competitive.” The funding will offset the construction costs for the $27 million project.
“We were delighted to get this tax credit award,” she said. “The fact that this project received tax credit awards is an amazing success story.”
The federal tax credit program was created in 1986 to stimulate private sector investment in affordable housing projects. The government issues tax credits to the state, and the state decides which projects get funded. Developers then sell the tax credits to create equity capital for investors.
Town of Breckenridge Housing Planner Nichole Rex said $1.35 million from the tax credit money will go into the project each year as equity for an investor to claim.
“I would say 55% of this project is being financed through (Low-Income Housing Tax Credits),” she said.
Crangle said the tax credit money allows for the project to move forward and makes way for other funding to fall into place. The project is also funded through construction loans, permanent loans, soft funding from the state of Colorado and the town of Breckenridge, and funding from the Department of Local Affairs.
DOLA is providing $650,000 to fund solar panels for the property, which helps Alta Verde produce net-zero emissions, one of the main goals of the project, Rex said.
Rex said Alta Verde is one of a few projects in the county that use federal tax credit funding, including Village at Wintergreen in Keystone, which also was developed by Gorman & Co.
Rex, Crangle and Priegel agreed projects like Alta Verde are more critical now than ever because of the economic toll of the novel coronavirus.
“In terms of people not being able to pay their rent, if they’re paying more than 30% of their income on housing, it just becomes harder and harder for them to be able to access housing that meets their needs,” Rex said.
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