Working to right wrongs at Gibson Heights
BRECKENRIDGE – The Summit Housing Authority (SHA) and town of Breckenridge officials are working with a local contractor to fix the numerous problems at Gibson Heights, SHA’s newest affordable housing project, in French Gulch.
Town Manager Tim Gagen said the two entities have hired local contractor Bob Greenly to work with homeowners and repair deficiencies. He said the housing authority and town will work out the financial end of it later and, possibly, legal matters associated with it. That process likely will be long and drawn-out and include the modular-home company, insurance firms, the contractor and, possibly, the courts, Gagen said.
“The town and the housing authority have to stand behind some of these things,” Mayor Sam Mamula said. Mamula stated in the past that affordable housing does not mean substandard housing. “We made a commitment to make these liveable, and that’s what we have to do.”
The project comprises 20 townhomes, 10 duplexes, eight single-family homes and two Habitat for Humanity parcels. All are deed restricted, and all but two single-family homes have been sold.
Greenly started work in mid-January, and some homeowners say he’s got his job cut out for him.
Mamula said the town doesn’t want to start pointing fingers until Greenly determines what the problems are and who should be responsible for fixing them. Some problems, he said, could be design flaws in the homes themselves.
According to SHA interim director Eileen Friedman, the original contractor, KYPY Development of Silverthorne, has until March 1 to complete punchlist items. A punchlist is a list of small projects that need to be completed before any project can be deemed truly complete.
She said SHA has been patient with the contractor and if things aren’t rectified, they might take the company to court.
Gagen said SHA is holding $250,000 in payments to KYPY until the problems are resolved.
Chris Peterson, owner of KYPY, said his company has taken care of punchlists for 20 homes there, and expects to finish 13 more in the next two weeks. Other than that and the five homes for which assembly was delayed because of moisture problems and unstable soil, his company is done. He said his contract says he was to be paid after the homes were assembled but before punchlist items are done.
“Come Friday, if that check’s not in my hand, then the whole thing is just going to blow up,” Peterson said. “They haven’t paid us in two months. They have until Friday to pay us, or we’re finished there and taking them to court.”
Peterson said many items on the punchlist are not his company’s responsibility.
“All we are is vertical development,” he said. “We have nothing to do with outside drainage, nothing to do with landscaping, nothing to do with grading. But it was on the punchlist, and guess who they hand the punchlist to?”
Some homeowners said they wish they hadn’t purchased the homes, in spite of the affordable prices.
Mamula said he would do it again.
“But would I get different management? Absolutely,” he said. “I think the execution of the development side was poor, but once we get to the bottom of what’s wrong, we can plan how to fix it. If we weren’t serious about getting this fixed, we wouldn’t have Bob Greenly there.”
“The board’s on top of it,” Gagen said. “We have a good feeling with Bob Greenly pushing things along. We’re feeling pretty good about how they’ve progressed after what was left in their lap after Gordon left.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or email@example.com.
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