Salida Council Business Session Considers CHA Funding, Summer ‘Safe Housing’, Street Map – By Ark Valley Voice Staff

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The Salida City Council will hold its next working session at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 4 in the City Council Chamber of the Touber Building. Two topics, related to housing, continue the dynamic of actions essential to increasing the availability of housing for the local workforce, the elderly and households.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The first item on the agenda aims to significantly accelerate the affordability of housing. Becky Gray, Director of the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA) will detail CHA’s funding options and their housing development and construction efforts, presented for the first time to the county and municipalities at the March 30 intergovernmental meeting. .

The current CHA budget is $300,000, provided by a combination of grants and contributions from three member jurisdictions. Based on analysis of local housing needs, as well as how organizations like ACS were able to raise funds, the estimated need is between $2 million and $4 million. It is clear to CHA that this gap cannot be filled by local government, general/housing funds alone.

The costliest and most impactful part of the CHA program is housing construction. The key to success will be CHA’s ability to raise enough funds by partnering with others to produce the housing units needed. Given the lack of availability of greenfield land, the CHA feels it must seek public-private partnerships, in which the CHA subsidizes the construction or conversion of units in exchange for a permanent affordable price.

Gray will share a tax analysis, presenting options that could generate between $1 million and $2.73 million per year. Details are in the working session folder on pages 7-10. For discussion, ideas such as a property tax, increased sales tax, or user fees/taxes for short-term rentals. For each option, the CHA will show the pros and cons and the potential impacts/benefits. These include an estimated number of new homes receiving a direct construction subsidy averaging $20,000 per unit, households receiving down payment assistance, and households receiving rental assistance. short term.

The ACS recognizes that each option has different impacts on different groups. A property tax spreads the burden across the entire community of owners, a sales tax includes those who do not currently own a property (plus visitors), while a short-term rental option falls solely on visitors. The CHA seeks advice from Salida City Council (and all local government entities) on the best approach. The outcome of those discussions will inform the language of a possible vote this fall.

The second item on the agenda related to housing will be an update on temporary housing and safe space options for Spring/Summer/Fall 2022. The city has recently received requests from parts of the community to create a “safe space” campsite for the local workforce during the upcoming peak tourist season. Although recognized as a critical need, other research reveals significant barriers to achieving this goal. Community Development Director Bill and City Administrator Drew Nelson will provide both a reality check as well as creative options for council to consider and seek their advice on how to help our seasonal workers.

Location of possible future major street projects by the Salida Department of Public Works (DPW). Map courtesy of Salida DPW

Also of interest is an update from Salida Public Works Manager David Lady on the capital planning for the street project. While routine maintenance projects for asphalt, sidewalks and concrete are proposed to be consistent with previous years, the City is also planning other major project opportunities.

These may become feasible through grants and federal infrastructure funding in the near future. Concept level site plans and cost estimates have been developed for these, planned over several years and some projects are ready to start.

These projects include improvements for:

1. CO-291 (Marvin Park West Entrance to Hospital Campus)

2. Boulevard Poncha

3. Illinois Avenue

As cost and grant results are collected, Public Works will continue to update the Board and help inform the next capital budget cycle.

Those wishing to listen in real time are encouraged to register early for the City Council business session.

After registration, a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar will be sent.

Feature image: Proposed allocation of new funds for housing. Graphic courtesy of the Chaffee Housing Authority (CHA). The majority of the proposed funds (69%) would be allocated to people aged 65 and over and workforce housing development, with 14% for organizational operations.

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