Housing Lottery Set For Today

Housing Lottery Set For Today ENTRADA, CO - It may be more than a year late, but the town's newest affordable housing project — a cluster of condos down on the willowy banks of the San Miguel River west of town — is finally coming together. And on Monday, the future residents of Entrada's sunny riverside units will be determined in a long-awaited housing lottery.

The Entrada Affordable Housing lottery will take place at noon on Monday in Rebekah Hall. The winning numbers will be drawn by the lucky hands of Alacia and Adam Gonzalez, who were lottery winners in the town's last project, Mendota. Some 24 households have applied for spots in Entrada, which has 13 units available.

The townhouse-style complex comprises 18 units in total, but one will be sold on the free market to bolster the town's subsidy. Two have been retained for town employees and the school district has reserved two.

The $7 million project is comprised of a mix of three-, two- and one-bedroom units. Each unit is different, but all maximize window space and come with lots of storage. They also come with plenty of appealing features; sunny decks and skylights, walk-in closets, garages, multi-floors, vaulted ceilings and built-in cabinets.

They have infloor heating and Energy Star appliances, wood accents, water-saving fixtures, and lots of eco-friendly materials. The colors are subdued and the views are pretty; some units look right down on the river, others look across the Valley Floor to the cliffs on the north side of town. Owners will be allows two domestic animals per unit.

The weighted lottery, which is being conducted by the San Miguel Regional Housing Authority, opened in early March and closed last week. SMRHA held several question and answer sessions during that time to help would-be buyers sort through the process, as each applicant had to determine whether their household qualified based on income thresholds and the median average income of the county.

SMRHA Executive Director Shirley Greve said the lottery will work like this: each applicant will be assigned a number, and the numbers will be drawn. After the lottery, winners will be able to tour Entrada, and winners will be able to choose which unit they want based on the order in which they were drawn. So first drawn gets first priority, regardless of what size of unit they desire.

The number of applicants has dropped sharply since the last affordable housing lottery in Telluride, when some 77 households applied for units in the Mendota project.

Greve said she thinks the drop comes down to the economy.

"I think there are many more than 77 households that are interested in ownership opportunities, but I think the economy is impacting that," Greve said. "Some people don't want to make that leap and investment, and then have something catastrophic happen with their employment.

"I think people are timid about it," Greve said.

She added that another factor may be that some households are holding out for the next affordable housing project, Gold Run, which will have single family homes.

Mayor Stu Fraser also noted that with these units, which are more expensive than Mendota, the qualifications were more stringent.

"I think that we hit the market that we were looking for," Fraser said. "We're glad we got as many as we did."

The upshot of this is that for those trying to get into Entrada, the odds are pretty nice.

Construction began in the spring of 2007, but the project has been set back more than 14 months by delays with the company that constructed the modular units.

Despite this, Fraser said the town still hopes to have the units sold by May or June. "It'll happen quickly once it happens," Fraser said.
Source: TellurideNews.com

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