Avon’s Mi Casa program making strides in 2022

So far this year, town has approved six applications for the deed-restriction program

Since the Mi Casa program’s inception, the town of Avon has awarded $1,708,622 in funds to close 27 transactions.
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In the beginning months of 2022, Avon has seen continued success of its Mi Casa Avon program. This program, which launched in mid-2020, is meant to make it easier for residents to become homeowners in town.

This year, Avon has approved six applications for the deed restriction program. Three of these applications were located in West Avon and the remaining three in Wildridge, with all but one property being a condominium. At the same time last year, the town had only approved two applications, signaling that the program may have its biggest year yet. This is all according to a report in Avon’s April 26 Town Council packet.

The town has been working to establish new solutions to provide housing for locals— including the development of employee housing at Swift Gulch, evaluating options for short-term rentals and establishing a community housing fund based on a new short-term rental tax. But Mi Casa remains one of its most consistent programs.

The program works like this: Prospective buyers can apply for between 8% and 12% of town housing funds to purchase a residence in Avon. The maximum purchase price of a deed restriction is set at $100,000. Since the cap was increased to $100,000 in April 2021, only two applications have received this full amount — both of which were townhome properties in the Wildridge neighborhood.

However, the majority of the applications have received 12% of its purchase price in town funds, with the all-time average at 11.9%.

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Once the property closes, the town places a permanent deed restriction on the property. While there are several restrictions under the deed restriction, the primary one is that the buyer must use the property as a primary residence for three years, after which it can be either rented or sold to an Eagle County employee.

Since the program’s inception, the town has awarded $1,708,622 in funds to close 27 transactions. So far, in 2022, the program has awarded $396,640 for the six closed transactions. This year, the Avon Town Council has approved the highest amount of funding for the program, with $1.3 million set aside from its community housing fund. This is in comparison to $650,000 in 2020 and $900,000 in 2021.

Since the last report made to council in October 2021, there have been a few minor trends in the types of properties involved in the program. For example, the average square footage, bedrooms and Mi Casa payment all saw minor declines while the average sale price increased slightly. Between October 2021 and April 2022, the average sales price went from $523,742 to $528,417 and the average Mi Casa payment went down to $63,282 from $63,405.

Establishing the number of deed-restricted units in town is one of the main goals of the town when it comes to community housing. While its main mechanism for this is through Mi Casa, it has also started to encourage new developments to build deed-restricted units on site. This was done most recently at the upcoming Frontgate and McGrady Acres developments.

These deed-restricted units, no matter how they’re gained, are critical to the town’s primary housing goal of having “a diverse range of housing densities, styles, and types, including rental and for sale, to serve all segments of the population,” according to its 2021 Community Housing Plan.

With eight months remaining in the year — and over $1.4 million in town funds remaining for Mi Casa — the town is expected to continue expanding its inventory of deed-restricted housing.

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