Gypsum will get workforce housing |

Gypsum will get workforce housing

Connie Steiert
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colorado ” For years, people have been drawn to Gypsum’s cheaper housing.

There was a time ” not long ago ” when a single-family home could be found for under $200,000. But today even Gypsum needs workforce housing ” for itself and also to help Eagle County workers find affordable homes.

Sawatch View Development has partnered with the town of Gypsum and the Eagle County Economic Council to build 72 multi-family, affordable condominiums in Gypsum ” including the community’s first ‘”workforce” housing. The apartments will break ground this spring.

The Sawatch View Condominiums will be located on 3.5 acres at the Jules Drive Business Park, between Sunny Avenue and Red Table Drive, west of the ambulance station. The condos will be divided between three buildings, with one- and two-bedroom units. There will be 27 one-bedroom units, 44 two-bedroom, and one studio unit for sale.

Thirty-six of the condominiums will be deed restricted, designed for local workers. Applicants may obtain a home for just $3,000 down.

The condominiums will work on a somewhat unusual basis, with limits on what the homes can be resold for. That selling price will be left to the owner, although deed restrictions remain.

Applicants must be both U.S. citizens and Eagle County residents for at least 12 months prior to applying. And 75 percent of the applicant’s income must be made in Eagle County.

Highest priority will be given to residents of Gypsum and Eagle, and then to those who work with the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Department of Wildlife, Eagle County Schools, Eagle County government, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, or who work with any emergency service, hospital or water and sanitation district in Eagle County.

Qualifying individuals may not make more than 140 percent of the area’s median income, which is up to $120,400 in Eagle County.

Prices for deed-restricted, workforce apartments start at $176,500 for one-bedrooms and go up to $254, 355 for a two-bedroom condominium with a two-car garage. Affordable housing starts at $196,500 for a one-bedroom to $256,075 for a two-bedroom unit.

Applicants must submit not only proof of residency and earnings, but that they have been pre-qualified for financing by a bank or other mortgage lender. Property or condominium association dues combined may not exceed 30 percent of the household income.

One-bedroom units average 640 square feet, but some are expansive at 714 square feet. The target date for completion is Winter 2008-09.

Applications are currently being finalized. Interested parties can add their name to a wait-list, and receive an application via e-mail. Homes will be sold to the first qualifying applicants who apply and can meet financial requirements.

“The big thing is that all of us are locals doing this development,” Fair says. “We all live here and work here, and don’t plan on going anywhere.

“What were trying to do is make sure people have a higher chance in getting a foot in the door and can start the ownership process ” and to keep the workforce in the valley, by trying to keep prices down.”

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