Friday, January 29, 2010

Rick Garcia named new Rocky Mountain regional HUD director

HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN NAMES RICK GARCIA
AS HUD’S ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL DIRECTOR

DENVER – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced President Barack Obama’s selection of Denver City Councilman Rick Garcia to serve as HUD Regional Director for the six states in HUD’s Rocky Mountain Region which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.

Garcia will serve as HUD’s liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, congressional delegations, stakeholders and customers and will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of HUD programs and services to communities, and evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness.

Elected to the Denver City Council in June 2003, Garcia has made economic revitalization, access to new transit projects and business development his priorities. Garcia is a board member and serves as chair of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and has served as Chairman of the Metro Vision Issues Committee and a voting member of the Regional Transportation Committee of DRCOG.

Garcia is also the former Board Chair of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority of the NEWSED Community Development Corporation and is a founding Community Advisor to the University of Colorado’s Latino/a Research and Policy Center.

Prior to being elected as a city council member, he also served as a consultant on Denver business development and government affairs, a senior manager for organizational development, training and Direct Services in the Colorado Department of Administration and Personnel, the state director for Small Business Development and Policy and, president of the Denver Urban Economic Development Corporation.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Commerce Dept./HUD info on home sales

The data is only by region, but it may be helpful in supplementing recent info on home prices (found here and here).

Press release:

Sales of new one-family houses in December 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 7.6 percent (±14.6%)* below the revised November rate of 370,000 and is 8.6 percent (±15.2%)* below the December 2008 estimate of 374,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2009 was $221,300; the average sales price was $290,600. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 231,000. This represents a supply of 8.1 months at the current sales rate.

An estimated 374,000 new homes were sold in 2009. This is 22.9 percent (±2.9%) below the 2008 figure of 485,000. New Residential Sales data for January 2010 will be released on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at 10:00 A.M. EST.

Our Internet site is: http://www.census.gov/newhomesales

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Metro Denver apartment vacancies rise to 7.7 percent, rents fall

Click here for the vacancy chart.
Click here for the average rents.

The full report is available from the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

Following an unexpected drop in the third quarter, metro Denver apartment vacancy rates rose during 2009’s fourth quarter to 7.7 percent. According to a report released Wednesday by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, vacancy rates rose from the third quarter’s rate of 7.4 percent. When compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, vacancy rates fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent.

“In general, we expect to see vacancy rates rise from the third quarter to the fourth due to seasonal factors, said Gordon Von Stroh, professor of business at The University of Denver and the report’s author. “But at 7.7 percent, we still see softness in the market.”

The highest vacancy rates were found in Denver County where rates rose year-over-year to 8.8 percent, and were lowest in Douglas County where vacancies fell year-over-year to 5.5 percent. During the same period, vacancy rates rose in Denver and Arapahoe Counties, and fell in Adams County, Douglas County, and in the Boulder/Broomfield area. Jefferson County reported no change.

2009’s fourth quarter vacancy rates by county were Adams, 6.3; Arapahoe, 8.6; Boulder/Broomfield, 5.8; Denver, 8.8; Douglas, 5.5; Jefferson, 7.3.

In general, a vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered the “equilibrium” rate. Rates below 5 percent indicate tight markets.

The overall average rent in the metro Denver area fell to $875.39. Rents fell from the third quarter average rent of $880.99 and also fell year-over-year from 2008’s fourth quarter rate of $888.81.

Observers noted that the job market is impacting vacancies and rents.

“In December, unemployment in the Denver area rose for the first time since August,” and personal income growth has been less than 1 percent, said Pat Coyle, Director of the Division of Housing. “This means that many renters will be doubling up and looking for ways to cut costs.”

When compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, Only Douglas County and Jefferson County reported increases in overall average rents. Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder/Broomfield, and Denver counties all reported decreases in overall average rents.

“The data is showing that young people and recent college grads are living at home in greater numbers right now,” said Lauren Brockman of Orion Real Estate Services. “Without more job growth and income growth, it’s going to be difficult to increase rents and keep units full.”

The highest average rent was reported in Douglas County at $1027.15, and the lowest was reported in Arapahoe County at $847.95. Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $809.39; Arapahoe, $847.95; Boulder/Broomfield, $943.23; Denver, $902.66; Douglas, $1027.15; and Jefferson, $848.75.

The Vacancy and Rent Surveys are a service provided by the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing to renters and the multi-family housing industry on a quarterly basis. The Colorado Vacancy and Rent Survey reports averages and, as a result, there are often differences in rental and vacancy rates by size, location, age of building, and apartment type. The full Report is available through the Apartment Association of Metro Denver at www.aamdhq.org; and limited information is available online at the Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/


# # #

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Governor Ritter to Help Commemorate the Start of Historic Habitat for Humanity Project on January 27th

Governor Ritter to Help Commemorate the Start of Historic Habitat for Humanity Project on January 27th
Governor Ritter will join city officials in a kickoff ceremony to mark the start of Habitat for Humanity’s largest “green community” and its first transit-oriented development in Denver

(Denver, CO – January 20, 2010)
***Media are invited to attend and interviews will be available***

Who: Governor Bill Ritter
Heather Lafferty, executive director, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver
(tentative) Councilman Charlie Brown, City Council District 6
Habitat for Humanity partner families

When: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 at 2:45pm
Construction B-roll footage: 2:00 – 2:15pm
Governor Ritter site tour and photo opp: 2:45
Remarks: 3:00 – 3:30
Hard Hat Toss (weather permitting): 3:30

Where: 4350 E. Bails Place, Denver, CO 80222 (Near I-25 & Colorado Blvd)

Governor Ritter will take the stage among local city and governmental officials, Habitat homeowners and community partners to help commemorate the start of Habitat’s Bails Townhome Community. The Bails Townhome Community (BTC) is Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver’s largest green building venture to-date, and is Habitat’s first transit-oriented development project in Denver.

HFHMD has been building green for over a decade, and incorporates technologies such as tankless water heaters, programmable thermostats and energy-efficient appliances into homes so that families can see less of their disposable income go to utility bills while simultaneously using less energy.

As a transit-oriented development which is within ½ mile of existing light rail and bus lines, families will have the opportunity to reduce vehicle emissions and keep transportation costs low. Current estimates show demand for housing near alternative transportation systems to increase 300% by 2030. This makes the Bails Townhome Community a sustainable development well into the future.

The Bails Townhome Community is a 24-townhome project that will take approximately 9 months to complete. The townhomes will be built with volunteer labor, under the supervision of Habitat construction supervisors. This large-scale project requires between 75-100 volunteers each day throughout the 9-month build.

Denver ranked third in Standard & Poor's home market index

Data through November 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the annual rates of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to improve, in spite of price declines being measured across many markets during November. This marks approximately 10 months of improved readings in the annual statistics, beginning in early 2009, and is the third consecutive month these statistics have registered single digit declines, after 20 consecutive months of double digit declines.

November data showed that from October to November, Denver's home price index fell 0.5%, and fell 0.4 percent from September to October. However, when compared year over year, November's index showed an increase of 0.5 percent, which places Denver behind only Dallas and San Francisco in the 20-city index.

“While we continue to see broad improvement in home prices as measured by the annual rate, the latest data show a far more mixed picture when you look at other details.” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “Only five of the markets saw price increases in November versus October. What is more interesting is that four of the markets – Charlotte, Las Vegas, Seattle and Tampa – posted new low index levels as measured by the past four years. In other words, any gains they might have seen in recent months have been erased and November is now considered their current trough value. On the flip side, there are still some markets that continue to improve month-over-month. Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco have seen prices increase for at least six consecutive months. Looking at the annual figures, four markets – Dallas, Denver, San Diego and San Francisco – have finally entered positive territory, something we really haven’t seen in at least two years in most markets."

In existing home sales data recently released by the Colorado Association of Realtors, Colorado home prices were shown to have increased 18 percent in year-over-year December figures. Metro Denver figures alone showed an increase of 14 percent for the same period.

The divergence in results is due to the fact that existing home price data from Realtor's associations are based only on existing home sales reflected in completed sales sold through the Metrolist system. Case-Shiller data employs a more complex methodology.

Nevertheless, the fact that both reports show Denver with increasing home prices supports a conclusion that home prices in Colorado and in the Denver area are increasing, and outperforming many metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

But recent month-over-month declines in the index indicate sustained downward pressure on home prices in the near term.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Home sales in Colorado, U.S. fall

The media coverage of recent home price and home sales data released by the Colorado Association of Realtors was extremely light, so we've provided a summary of the data below:

Home sales in Colorado, U.S. fall

Sales of previously occupied homes took the largest monthly drop in more than 40 years last month, sinking more dramatically than expected after lawmakers gave buyers additional time to use a tax credit.

Nationwide, purchases slumped 17 percent from November to December after a government tax credit was originally due to expire, the biggest decline since records began in 1968, to a 5.45 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington, D.C. The median sales price increased for the first time in two years.

The report reflects a sharp drop in demand after buyers stopped rushing to qualify for a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homeowners. It had been due to expire on Nov. 30. But Congress extended the deadline until April 30 and expanded it with a new $6,500 credit for existing homeowners who move.

Comparing year-over-year, however, sales increased from November to December as totals rose 15 percent from 4.7 million to 5.4 million nationally.

Nationally, sales are now up 21 percent from the bottom a year ago, but down 25 percent from the peak more than four years ago.

In Colorado, home sales fell 16 percent from November to December, reflecting the same tax-credit-driven dynamic as was found at the national level. According to data released Friday by the Colorado Association of Realtors, year-over-year comparisons for December showed home sales totals declining by 2 percent.

In contrast to home sales totals, home price data showed growth across the board. In Colorado, median home prices rose 9 percent from $220,656 in November to $239,844 in December, and were up 18 percent year-over-year from $204,122 in December 2008 to $239,844 in December 2009.

Nationally, Home prices were up 5 percent from $170,000 in November to $178,300 in December. Comparing year over year, the median sales price was $178,300, up 1.5 percent from $175,700 a year earlier and the first yearly gain since August 2007. However, some of that increase could be due to a drop-off in purchases from first-time buyers who tend to buy less expensive homes.

The recent data reinforces common sentiment among some economists that the market has bottomed out, and has expanded since 2008, but uncertainty remains over the health of the market in the short term. Growth in home sales and in prices has been recently fueled by the home purchase tax credit and by low interest rates. Low interest rates have been made possible in part by widespread purchasing of mortgage-backed securities by the Federal Reserve. It is unclear how much strength the home market will show once the Fed backs off its purchases, interest rates increase, or the tax credit expires.

The big question hanging over the housing market this spring is whether a tentative recovery will stumble after the government pulls back support. The Federal Reserve's $1.25 trillion program to push down mortgage rates is scheduled to expire at the end of March—a month before the newly extended tax credit runs out.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FHLB of Topeka announces funding

Note press release from the FHLB of Topeka:

Record amount of Housing and Economic Development grants available

Due to strong earnings in 2009, we are pleased to announce a record amount of funding available through our housing and community development programs in 2010 through our member banks, thrifts and credit unions. To find an FHLBank member institution in your community, search our list of current members. We will offer $22.4 million in Affordable Housing Program funds, more than four times the amount awarded in 2009. Funding for our Homeownership Set-aside Programs is triple the 2009 amount with $5.6 million available.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM (AHP)
Application Deadlines | Round One - March 1; Round Two – September 1
Amount Available | $22.4 million overall; $11.2 million per round; $450,000 maximum per application
Online Application Available | Round One – Early February; Round Two – Early August
Application Awards | Round One – Late June; Round Two – Mid-December

We will offer the AHP in two rounds in 2010. Additional changes for the year include:

* Expanded homeownership project rates and term guidelines
* An update to the definition of “homeless” to agree with the most recent HUD definition
* Scoring priority modifications (District Priority 1 decreased to 20 points from 32.5 points; District Priority 2 increased to 17.5 points from 5 points)
* Some modified guidelines used to evaluate the project’s feasibility and need for subsidy

For full detail on these changes, visit our AHP Web page.

HOMEOWNERSHIP SET-ASIDE PROGRAMS (HSP)
Funding Available | March 1, April 1, May 1, June 1, July 1 and August 1
Amount Available | $5.6 million overall; $1.1 million each in March and in April; $838,000 each month in May through August
Funding Limits | $50,000 per member in first two months ($25,000 more per month starting in May); $4,000 per household
Registration and HSP Materials Available | Early February

The HSP provides a pool of first-come, first-served funding for the Rural First-time Homebuyer Program (RFHP), Targeted Ownership Program (TOP), Rural Disaster Assistance and Mortgage Refinancing Program (MRP). Some guidelines for the program were expanded this year similar to the expansions listed above for AHP. Visit the HSP page for more information.

Monthly offerings will be handled as they were in 2009. If funding requests exceed the amount of funds available on the first day of any of the monthly HSP offerings, requests will be chosen using a random selection process. If funding falls within the allotment, requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. All funding requests submitted on the first day of the offering will have an equal chance of being approved. The time of submission the first day of each monthly offering does not impact whether a request is selected.

The Mortgage Refinancing Program, a new part of the HSP, can be used to help refinance first mortgages at risk of foreclosure through closing cost and principal reduction assistance. In order to qualify, the household must obtain refinancing through a member participating in an eligible targeted refinancing program. For program guidelines, please see our HSP page.

UPCOMING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Contact the Housing and Community Development department at 866.571.8155 to discuss any of our programs. Our staff stands ready to provide technical assistance as you prepare your application(s). We will also offer Webinars in the coming months about HSP and AHP. Watch our Web site for more information.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friday, January 15, is a mandatory furlough day at DOLA

Tomorrow, Friday, January 15 is a mandatory furlough day at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The next full business day will be Tuesday, January 19 following the MLK holiday.

December Housing Snapshot available online

Housing Snapshot, a concise review of recent economic data related to housing, is now available. If you have not yet seen it, the December issue is available here.

The January issue will be available toward the end of the month.

In the December issue features foreclosure data, apartment vacancies, home prices, personal income, and unemployment.

Click here for the report.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Project highlights from Larimer and Weld Counties

In a recent presentation, Div. of Housing staff featured some recent projects in Larimer County. Simply for your information, here is a listing of the featured projects:

In 2007, DOLA awarded Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI) a $500,000 HOME grant and a $15,333.17 Governor’s Energy Office/Energy $aving Partners Incentive Program grant (for energy-efficiency improvements) to assist in the new construction of twenty-three (23) units of senior affordable rental housing in Fort Collins. Twenty-two (22) of the units are for households at 50% AMI or less. One two-bedroom unit will be non-income restricted for a resident manager/caretaker. This project will utilize HUD 811 project funding (rental housing for income-eligible individuals with disabilities (i.e. mobility impairments and/or self-care limitations) that includes rental assistance for all twenty-two (22) affordable units. Accessible Space, Inc. will manage and complete the construction of this project and will also provide all resident services for their households.

In 2007, DOLA awarded Larimer County a CDBG grant of $375,000 on behalf of the Larimer Home Ownership Program (LHOP), which is operated by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland (HACOL), in continuance of their existing down payment assistance loan program. These Down Payment Assistance loan funds provided 36 (thirty-six) new low-interest loans to assist first-time home buyers with household incomes below 80% of area median income for Larimer County.

In 2007, DOLA awarded The Town of Estes Park a CDBG grant of $44,000 on behalf of the Estes Park Housing Authority (EPHA) for the completion of a Housing Needs Assessment for the Estes Valley (Park R3 School District). The housing needs assessment addresses the economic and demographic framework, housing inventory, housing market conditions, housing problems, special needs, housing gaps and estimated needs that are outlined in the Colorado Division of Housing template. A full written report was provided to the CDOH that covers primary data collection and interpretations as well as specific issues that the local community requested. The final report is available on the Colorado Division of Housing website. The Town of Estes Park has initiated a local strategic planning process to address the identified housing needs.

In 2008, DOLA awarded Larimer County, on behalf of The Housing Authority of the City of Loveland (HACOL), a CDBG grant for $202,700 in continuance of the Larimer County Home Improvement Program (SFOO Rehab). These funds were used only in the non-entitlement areas of Larimer County. These grant funds were used to assist with the repair and rehabilitation of 15 (fifteen) homes by providing low-interest loans to homeowners earning less than 80% AMI. Historically those assisted by the program have fallen under the 50% AMI level.

In 2008, DOLA awarded Larimer County a CDBG grant of $738,600 on behalf of the Larimer Home Ownership Program (LHOP), which is administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland (HACOL), in continuance of their existing down payment assistance loan program. These grant funds were for a two (2) year period and provided 78 (seventy-eight) low-interest loans to assist first-time buyers earning less than 80% AMI in the purchase of homes located in non-entitlement areas of Larimer County. Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) in Fort Collins provides a HUD and CHFA certified homebuyer education class which is required of all buyers.

In 2009, DOLA awarded The Loveland Housing and Development Corporation a HOME grant of $100,000.00 in support of their ongoing down payment assistance program, the Larimer Home Ownership Program (LHOP), which is administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland (HACOL). These grant funds were used to provide 11 (eleven) new low-interest loans to assist first-time buyers earning less than 80% AMI in the purchase of homes located within the city limits of Loveland in Larimer County. The City of Fort Collins operates its own down payment assistance program. Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) in Fort Collins provides a HUD and CHFA certified homebuyer education class which is required of all buyers. N2N also provides pre- and post-ownership counseling to buyers, as well as a Mortgage Default Counseling Program.

In 2009, DOLA awarded Larimer County an Energy Impact Assistance Fund grant of $25,100 for the completion of a Housing Needs Assessment for Larimer County. The housing needs assessment addressed the economic and demographic framework, housing inventory, housing market conditions, housing problems, special needs, housing gaps and estimated needs that are outlined in the Colorado Division of Housing template. A full written report was provided that covers primary data collection and interpretation as well as specific issues that the local community requested. The final report is available on the Colorado Division of Housing website. Larimer County is preparing a strategic planning process to address the identified housing needs.

In 2009, DOLA awarded CARE Housing, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, awarded a HOME grant in the amount of $500,000 for the new construction of the Provincetowne Green Communities development located in southeastern Fort Collins, Larimer County. Phase I of Provincetowne is a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit development consisting of 85 townhome-style units of multi-family rental housing containing 15 2-bedrooms @ 30% AMI, 3 3-bedrooms @30% AMI, 24 2-bedrooms @ 40% AMI, 6 3-bedrooms @ 40% AMI, 31 2-bedrooms @ 50% AMI, and 6 3-bedrooms @ 50% AMI. Provincetowne will be built utilizing Green Communities and LEED standards as a collaborative effort of public and private partners.

In 2008, DOLA awarded The Town of Windsor a CDBG grant of $34,850 for the completion of a Housing Needs Assessment for the Town of Windsor, including the areas located within Larimer and Weld Counties. The housing needs assessment addresses the economic and demographic framework, housing inventory, housing market conditions, housing problems, special needs, housing gaps and estimated needs that are outlined in the Colorado Division of Housing template. A full written report was provided to the CDOH that covers primary data collection and interpretations as well as specific issues that the local community requested. An Executive Summary of the final report is available on the Colorado Division of Housing website. The Town of Windsor is initiating a local strategic planning process to address the identified housing needs.

In 2008, DOLA awarded Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI) a HOME grant of $485,000 to assist in the new construction of twenty-two (22) units of affordable, accessible rental housing in Greeley, Weld County. These twenty-two (22) units are for households at 50% AMI or less. This project utilizes HUD 811 project funding (rental housing for income-eligible individuals with disabilities (i.e. mobility impairments and/or self-care limitations) that includes rental assistance for all twenty-two (22) affordable units, thus allowing residents to pay no more than 30% of their adjusted gross income for rent. Accessible Space, Inc. managed the construction of this project and also provides all resident services for the households.

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute 19th Annual Land Use Conference: The New American Landscape

The Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute 19th Annual Land Use Conference: The New American Landscape

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

March 4-5, 2010

Pre-conference symposium on March 3, 2010

Registration is now open!

Please join us for RMLUI’s 19th Annual Land Use Conference: The New American Landscape. There are now two options for attendance: in person and online.

To register or for more information, please visit: http://law.du.edu/index.php/rmlui

The Colorado Springs Pike Senior Limited Partnership receives HOME loan

The Colorado Springs Pike Senior Limited Partnership was awarded a HOME loan of $250,000 to assist with the construction of the seventy-unit Pikes Peak Senior Apartments located at 907 East Colorado Avenue in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This project will provide forty-one (41) one-bedroom and twenty-nine (29) two-bedroom units for senior households (age 55 and over) at 40% and 50% Area Median Income (AMI). This project will be built to Green Communities standards and will include a secure entry, computer lab, exercise room and community kitchen. The project developer, MJT Properties, Inc. and their management company, Terra Management LLC, have successfully constructed and managed six other tax credit, senior restricted apartments in Colorado.

Warren Village, Inc. receives HOME funds

Warren Village, Inc. was awarded a grant of $300,000 in HOME funds to assist with the rehabilitation of the Warren Village Apartments located at 1323 Gilpin Street Denver, Colorado. The Warren Village Apartments were constructed in 1974 and consist of ninety-four (94) units of transitional housing with 42 one-bedroom, 40 two-bedroom and 12 three bedroom units that are affordable to households at 50% and 60% area median income (AMI). This property receives project-based HUD rental assistance that allows this property to serve recently homeless, single parent families in the Denver area with most households at 30% AMI or less. The planned rehabilitation includes; energy-efficiency improvements, interior updates, electrical and plumbing upgrades, and security upgrades.

USDA Rural Development Section 502 Direct Loans: An Affordable Option for Low Income Rural Ownership

USDA Rural Development’s flagship Section 502 direct loan program is one of the
most effective ways to support low-income homebuyers in rural communities. This
three-day course provides rural practitioners with the tools and knowledge to prescreen new homeowners, calculate subsidies, apply payment assistance formulas,
and identify complimentary sources of financing.

Participants will gain a working proficiency of 502 direct underwriting and loan
packaging standards ensuring that loan dockets submitted to Rural Development
are complete and acceptable for processing.

January 19 - 21
8:00am - 4:00pm

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City - Denver Branch
1020 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

See here for more information and registration.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New award for Senior Residence at Creekside West

The Lakewood Housing Authority, dba Metro West Housing Solutions, will receive a grant of $500,000 in HOME funds for the construction of Senior Residence at Creekside West. This is Phase II of the award winning Residence at Creekside Community, a 118 unit senior development built in 2007 (also supported by CDOH funds). The new building will be directly west and adjacent to the existing facility. This new 83 unit property will offer independent living for seniors 55 and over, on a 1-acre site in central Lakewood. It will be a 4-story wood-frame building with two elevators, underground parking, and an emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability, including passive solar, solar PV and solar thermal. The project’s 83 units will be affordable at 30%, 50% & 60% of the area median income.

Thistle Communities awarded grant for Correll Apartments rehabilitation

Thistle Communities was awarded a grant of $52,140 in State of Colorado funds for the rehabilitation of the Correll Apartments in the City of Boulder (near Baseline & Broadway). Correll has one building built in 1948 and two other buildings built in 1957. It has 1 studio, 6 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units, all affordable at or below 50-60% AMI. Thistle acquired the property in 2001 with City and FHLB funding, but without assistance from CDOH. They refinanced it in 2002 as part of a portfolio tax-exempt bond refinancing. In the summer of 2009, Thistle replaced all of the windows with funding from GEO and the City. Their rehabilitation plan also calls for roof replacement, attic insulation, kitchen & bath updates, new furnaces, exterior door replacement, interior hallway upgrades, parking lot resurfacing and lighting, and installation of CO alarms. These repairs are necessary to preserve these 21 permanently affordable rental units.

Recent grant awards in northern Colorado

Provincetown Green Communities, Fort Collins



CARE Housing, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been awarded a HOME grant in the amount of $500,000 in HOME funds for the new construction of the Provincetowne Green Communities development located in southeastern Fort Collins, Larimer County. Phase I of Provincetowne is a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit development consisting of 85 townhome-style units of multi-family rental housing containing 15 2-bedrooms @ 30% AMI, 3 3-bedrooms @30% AMI, 24 2-bedrooms @ 40% AMI, 6 3-bedrooms @ 40% AMI, 31 2-bedrooms @ 50% AMI, and 6 3-bedrooms @ 50% AMI. Provincetowne will be built utilizing Green Communities and LEED standards as a collaborative effort of public and private partners incorporating a “triple bottom line” that balances financial performance with social and environmental goals.

The Greeley Center for Independence



The Greeley Center for Independence, Inc. (GCI) has received a grant of $140,000 in state Housing Development Grant funds to assist with the rehabilitation of The Hope Apartments located at 2730 28th Avenue, Greeley, Colorado. The Hope Apartments were constructed in 1994 with assistance from the Division of Housing in the form of a HOME grant of $400,000. The Hope Apartments provide thirty-one (31) units of rental housing for people with acquired physical disabilities, including those with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. There are 28 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom apartments that are affordable to households at or below 50% - 60% area median income (AMI). This special needs population generally receives some form of rental assistance that allows the residents to pay no more than 30% of their income on housing and utilities. The planned rehabilitation work includes energy-efficiency improvements, security and accessibility improvements, interior updates, plumbing upgrades, and repair of the roof soffit.

Homestead Apartments, Otis, Colorado

Washington County, on behalf of Otis Development, Inc., has been awarded a grant of $266,085.00 in CDBG funds to assist with the rehabilitation of The Homestead Apartments located at 306 W. 2nd Avenue, Otis, Colorado. The Homestead Apartments were constructed in 1973 with assistance from USDA Rural Development. It consists of nine (9) units of rental housing for seniors and the physically disabled, with 6 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom single-story apartments that are affordable to households at or below 60% area median income (AMI). This property receives 5 units of rental assistance from USDA Rural Development that allows the residents to pay no more than 30% of their income on housing and utilities. The planned rehabilitation work includes energy-efficiency improvements, interior updates, electrical and plumbing upgrades, earthwork to correct site drainage problems, and concrete repairs to sidewalks. One unit will be remodeled to be compliant with ADA (Section 504).

Parkville Apartments in Longmont

Thistle Communities has been awarded a grant of $60,000 in state Housing Development Grant funds for the rehabilitation of the Parkville Apartments in Longmont, Boulder County. Parkville is a garden-style community built in 1978 consisting of 6 buildings containing 45 1-bedroom and 30 2-bedroom rental units affordable to households at or below 50% AMI and 1 2-bedroom unit at market rate for a total of 76 units. These funds are for Phase 2 of the rehab plan which will consist of additional HVAC replacement, fencing, parking lot replacement and lighting repairs. These repairs are necessary to preserve these permanently affordable rental units that serve very low-income families.

Aspen Meadows Neighborhood

The Longmont Housing Authority (LHA) has been awarded a grant of $250,000 in state Housing Development Grant funds to assist in repayment of a loan for the acquisition of the land for this project. The two-acre site for the Aspen Meadows Neighborhood (AMN) is located at 50 21st Avenue, in northeast Longmont, Boulder County. AMN is a townhome-style new construction project consisting of 28 units of rental housing, two 2-bedroom units at 30% AMI, eighteen 2-bedroom units at 40% AMI, six 3-bedroom units at 40% AMI, and two 4-bedroom units at 40% AMI. This project received Low Income Housing Tax Credits from CHFA in Round 1 of 2009.

Down payment assistance in Loveland

The Loveland Housing and Development Corporation has been awarded a grant of $100,000 in HOME funds in support of their ongoing down payment assistance program, the Larimer Home Ownership Program, which is administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland. These grant funds will be used to provide a minimum of 11 (eleven) low-interest loans to assist first-time buyers earning less than 80% AMI in the purchase of homes located within the city limits of Loveland. Neighbor to Neighbor in Fort Collins provides a HUD and CHFA certified homebuyer education class which is required of all buyers. Neighbor to Neighbor also provides pre- and post-ownership counseling to buyers, as well as a Mortgage Default Counseling Program.

Single-Family Rehab in Boulder County

Boulder County’s Longs Peak Energy Conservation Single-Family Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation program has been awarded a CDBG grant of $191,050. These grant funds will be used to assist with the repair and rehabilitation of eleven (11) homes by providing low-interest loans to homeowners earning less than 80% AMI. This housing rehab loan program serves residents living outside the City limits of Boulder and Longmont.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

HUD Publishes FY 2009 HOPE VI Main Street NOFA

From NAHRO:

On Nov. 11, HUD Published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the HOPE VI Main Street program. HUD estimates that a total of $4 million will be awarded to four successful applicants.

The due data for grant applications is Jan. 20, 2010. More information and the complete application package can be found at www.grants.gov under opportunity number FR-5300-N-24. The NOFA can be accessed by visiting NAHRO's Federal Register Daily Digest at www.nahro.org/members/federalregister/index.cfm

Monday, January 4, 2010

New asset manager at the Division of Housing

Justine Willman has joined the Division of Housing as an asset manager. Ms. Willman was previously with the Division of Housing as part of the team administering the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

She brings with her eight years professional development experience including all facets of entitlements, pre-construction, construction, tenant build-out and overall project coordination from start to completion

She was previously with Continuum Partners, LLC for eight years. Continuum is a developer with experience in mixed use communities including: 16 Market Square, Bradburn and Belmar

Ms. Willman will be responsible for the area formerly managed by Shannon Picaso, with the exception of the Pueblo area. Ms. Picaso will still manage the Pueblo area.

Click here for the updated assignment map. (Word Doc file.)

New report on deed-restricted housing units

30% AMI units report a vacancy rate of 3.1 percent.

Click here for full report.