Affordable housing rates in Avon set to increase |

Affordable housing rates in Avon set to increase

Dustin Racioppi
Avon, CO Colorado
NWS Buffalo Ridge BH 10-5

AVON ” Affordable housing rental rates in Avon and Eagle-Vail, Colorado, will be a little less affordable before you know it.

The boards of directors for Eaglebend, Buffalo Ridge and Kayak Crossing apartments ” all owned by Polar Star Properties “-approved increases between 3 and 5 percent in annual rental rates beginning in 2009.

Polar Star principal Gerry Flynn said in a press release that rates usually go up about 2 to 3 percent each year. The approved higher rates, according to the release, are to cover necessary capital improvements to the three apartments complexes.

“Our mission is to continue to provide affordable rentals to our residents, commensurate with ongoing operating, maintenance, debt service and capital improvement projects,” board member Jeff Spanel said in the release. “Eaglebend is now a 16-year-old project and we need to make significant capital improvements in order to keep the grounds and units looking and feeling like new.”

The release said Eaglebend spent more than $800,000 on improvements in 2008 and expects to spend at least that much in the next few years. All three properties are working on improving landscaping, green standards and recycling programs in addition to capital improvements, it said.

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But the goal is still to keep the housing in the area affordable, according to Spanel.

“We are not going to implement double-digit rental rate increases in this environment just because we can,” he said.

But if the rates are going to increase, Buffalo Ridge resident Don Hohmann would like to see where his money is going. He’s lived at the Avon complex for three years and said the property could be maintained better and overall maintenance could use a boost.

“If they’re going to increase it, they should keep things up,” he said.

Hohmann can take the increase, he said, even though he’d rather not. He’s used to his rates going up about $50 a month each time he renews his lease, he said.

“I’m a teacher, and we get a yearly raise, so that tends to cover it,” he said.

But on the other hand, with rent going up and most people’s wages staying flat or barely keeping pace with the costs of living, he couldn’t help but wonder one obvious question.

“This is supposed to be affordable housing. And if it keeps going up, then when does it not become affordable anymore?” Hohmann said.

Flynn could not be reached Saturday to answer that question.

Eaglebend resident Brian Gunter, like Hohmann, can take the rate increase. But it would be nice, he said, with everything else in the world going up, if he could catch a break somewhere.

“It definitely makes it hard,” he said. “I feel it.”

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at (970)748-2936 or

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