Hayden hopes bid for pandemic relief dollars earmarked for housing is competitive | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden hopes bid for pandemic relief dollars earmarked for housing is competitive

Dylan Anderson
Steamboat Pilot & Today

The town of Hayden will apply for a transformational housing grant from the state of Colorado to support the build-out of 185 units of low- to moderate-income housing on the town’s west side.

The development is still in the early stages and securing this funding is not guaranteed, but Hayden Director of Planning and Zoning Tegan Ebbert told the Hayden Town Council on Thursday, Dec. 15, that she felt the application would be “really competitive.”

“This is the very first opportunity to apply for (the housing funding),” Ebbert said. “We and (developer Gorman and Co.) are trying really hard to be in that first round and be as competitive as possible.”

The application is for funding from a housing grant program created by a law passed in the Colorado Legislature and signed by Gov. Jared Polis in June. House Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat from Avon who represented Routt County in the house, was a prime sponsor on the bill. Roberts was elected to represent Routt County and much of Northwest Colorado in the state Senate in November.

The funding for the housing grants comes from COVID-19 pandemic relief dollars that flowed from the federal government into state coffers last year through the American Rescue Plan Act.

According to a summary of the law, the housing fund it created has $138 million to distribute to local governments and nonprofits for “transformational affordable housing and housing related matters.” The federal funding needs to be spent by the end of 2026.

Another $40 million in federal relief dollars was put into a multi-agency effort to help local governments improve their ability to obtain grant funding for housing projects.

Hayden Town Manager Mathew Mendisco said state officials have gotten more than $350 million worth of letters of intent from governments and nonprofits seeking this funding. He said representatives from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which is distributing this funding, confirmed last week that this project would be eligible for funding.

“Now it’s a matter of being competitive,” Mendisco said. “And I think we’ll have a really, really good shot at that.”

Mendisco said one thing going for them is that it is a “shovel-ready project,” which allows the money to be spent in the timeframe attached to the federal dollars.

Earlier this month, Town Council rezoned a 23-acre parcel that Gorman is under contract to purchase at 1300 W. Jefferson Ave. to allow the housing to be built.

Ebbert said the plan is for 135 units that would be built with this grant and another 50 units that would obtain other funding. The development will serve low- to moderate-income residents, but exactly what income requirements would be is not yet known, and will likely hinge on requirements attached to funding obtained.

“The timing really couldn’t be better with the progression of where (Gorman is) at in their project,” Ebbert said. “We’re hoping that being first through the gate and being really prepared is going to be in our favor.”

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