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Last updated 11:20PM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Affordable Housing Plan Unveiled
(2007-06-13)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A plan that could provide affordable housing for up to 500 Durango and La Plata County families over the next five years is falling into place.
KSUT's Victor Locke Reports.

VICTOR: The relatively new La Plata County Regional Housing authority has unveiled a plan that could boost affordable housing.
It was developed with help from Peter Werwath of Enterprise Community Partners, a national not for profit group that helps develop and finance affordable housing plans.
WERWATH: IT'S AN AMBITIOUS BUT DOABLE FIVE POINT PLAN.
It calls for banking land to develop affordable housing.
WERWATH: BECAUSE YOU KNOW, LAND COSTS ARE THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM HERE.
A 10-million dollar La Plata Homes Trust Fund would be created.
WERWATH: IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY THEY'RE CALLED HOUSING TRUST FUNDS, OR THINGS LIKE THAT THAT WILL PROVIDE VERY SUBSTANTIAL DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE TO LOW AND MODERATE INCOME BUYERS, HELP PROVIDE THE CAPITAL TO DEVELOP THAT LAND.
A homebuyers assistance program, already funded with a 250-thousand dollar state grant, is being developed.
WERWATH: IT'S NO GOOD BUILDING HOMES IF YOU CAN'T HELP PEOPLE GET FINANCED TO BUY THEM.
What's called a "fair share" ordinance is being proposed in the city, requiring developers to include affordable housing in their projects.
WERWATH: IT'S BEEN TEN TO TWENTY PERCENT, WE'RE RECOMMENDING A STANDARD APPROACH TO THIS THAT WOULD REQUIRE 16 PERCENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HAVE SOME OTHER OPTIONS FOR DEVELOPERS TO COMPLY.
And, Werwath says the Housing Authority will advocate development of policies that result in smart and affordable growth.
WERWATH: IT'S A LOT ABOUT MELDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING WITH SMART GROWTH, WITH GREEN BUILDLING PRINCIPALS, WITH THE IDEA THAT, YOU KNOW, AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS MUCH BETTER SITUATION NEAR THE TOWNS WHERE THERE'S EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICES.
Housing Authority Executive Director Jennifer Lopez says the RHA is already working to implement several of the proposals,
And, she says, reaction from the development community to the "Fair Share" ordinance which will soon go to city council has been positive.
LOPEZ: I'VE GOTTEN REALLY GOOD FEEDBACK. THE OTHER COMMENTS HAVE BEEN, WE WANT TO KNOW THE RULES, WE WANT TO KNOW THEM UP FRONT SO WE CAN ACCOUNT FOR THE ADDITIONAL COSTS. WE WANT TO KNOW THAT WE'RE ACTUALLY HELPING PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY. THERE'S SEVERAL LOCAL DEVELOPERS WHO WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS, THEY JUST HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO IT.
Lopez says they have a goal that will be the RHA's scorecard on the success or failure of providing homes costing 275-thousand dollars or less to those earning 75-thousand or less per year.
LOPEZ: WE HAVE A HUNDRED OPPORTUNITIES WE WANT TO CREATE A YEAR, THAT COULD BE FOR SALE UNITS, RENTAL UNITS, DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE, SO 100 A YEAR FOR FIVE YEARS, THAT WOULD BE FIVE HUNDRED UNITS, THAT'S TREMENDOUS.
Lopez says they are already on track to provide 73 affordable housing units this year alone.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke
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