Breckenridge workforce housing projects progress toward summer completions
The new wave of affordable residences in the county are slated to open this summer, with the next round of shovels sinking into the ground about that same time to keep momentum on area workforce housing projects moving forward.
The town of Breckenridge and Summit County government announced the opening of the lottery process last week for the units at Huron Landing. For the first time, the two municipalities entered a 50-50 partnership to build the $8.5 million two-building complex, located across from the 7-Eleven at 450 County Road in Breckenridge, to offer 26 apartments for middle-income employees in the county.
Applications are now being accepted through May 14 on 22 of the two-bedroom, one-bathroom and two-bedroom, two-bathroom units, at a monthly rent of $1,550 and $1,700, respectively, including utilities. The town and county will both maintain two apartments each for transitional housing for its own employees, leaving 14 one-bath and eight two-bath units up for rent.
The rental rates were specifically selected to help fill the void of available rental housing between the 65-100 area median income, or AMI. The units require a minimum of two tenants, and no more than four, with corresponding maximum income levels of 160 percent AMI to qualify to live there. For two occupants, that cap is at about $105,000 annually, and approximately $132,000 for a household of four.
“The important thing that Huron Landing does is provide rentals above the target of 60 percent of AMI and below, (because) that (lower AMI housing) already exists,” said County Commissioner Thomas Davidson. “It’s the next step up in terms of the income spectrum. It is also the kind of a place that maybe has some of the amenities and other features that people expect after their first entry-level job and the lifestyle that comes with it, and want to establish themselves a little better.”
Each apartment is smoke-free, pet-friendly, includes a full-size washer and dryer, and comes with a single parking space. A second space may be rented at a monthly fee of $40 on a first-come, first-served basis.
The lottery for the first 11 units takes place the week of May 22 for applicants who fit the financial constraints and also work at least 30 hours in Breckenridge. The second 11-unit lottery is for those who work anywhere in the county, including Breckenridge. The contractor for Huron Landing expects to be finished right around July 1, and leases will begin between July 15 and Aug. 15. Those agreements will be reviewed each year to ensure income qualifications are being maintained and not surpassing those allowable income caps.
“The goal is for people to have some room to do well in whatever sort of career or job they’re in, but at some point, to also make sure the units are available to the folks just starting out,” said Laurie Best, Breckenridge senior planner. “That helps us, that as people do well they find other housing options. When it’s time to renew, if they exceed that level, they’re no longer eligible.”
Also nearing completion is the three-building Denison Commons complex, just north of Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. Previously known as Denison Placer 2, the $5.7 million project owned by the town of Breckenridge includes 20 studio and 10 one-bedroom rentals and is scheduled to be finished in June for July move-in.
The town and CMC have been in conversations for months to strike a deal for the community college system to acquire the 5.5-acre property to house students and staff. The two recently settled on a master-lease agreement on two of the three buildings — 20 total units — with the potential for purchase, plus the third building if the college chooses that route, within three years.
The town is currently working through final negotiations and details on a draft of the agreement. It expects to have those documents signed in the next two weeks. The third building will be used to house town employees for the meantime.
Looking ahead, the official groundbreaking event for the adjacent land parcel in Breckenridge, termed Denison Placer 1, will take place in June as well. Vertical construction will actually start in mid-May on 54 for-sale townhomes and upwards of 20 more apartments. Monies from the CMC arrangement, combined with tax dollars for workforce housing that the county and towns will receive through a ballot measure that voters passed in November, will go toward the town’s latest development.
For more information on the Huron Landing lottery process, including details on the eligibility requirements and application process, visit the project website at: HuronLanding.com.
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