Developer defends Dairy Apartments as attainable housing
The developer of the Dairy Apartments is defending the project from recent criticism by saying the units are one solution to the shortage of long-term rentals in Granby.
Steven Reeder of Dakota Land LLC said in a letter to the Granby Board of Trustees that the Dairy Apartments have always been intended as attainable housing, not affordable housing. In the letter, he referenced the demand in Colorado communities for long-term rental housing.
The letter came as a response to criticism about $36,000 granted to the development from the Recreation, Open Space and Housing Foundation. Reeder said in the letter that the grant was provided to offset utility fees, utility construction and utility connections for the development.
ROSH provides funds gained from a 1% transfer fee on second sales and beyond of properties in Granby Ranch and Edgewater. The foundation has come under some scrutiny for its spending, including this grant.
However, Reeder and the foundation maintain the Dairy Apartments provide attainable housing with rent for a one-bedroom unit at $1,750 a month.
“The Dairy Apartment has always been presented as market rate housing and has not been presented as an affordable housing project,” Reeder said.
While the two terms are often interchanged, affordable housing is housing that requires 30% or less of someone’s income as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Attainable housing, alternatively, refers to “market rate” housing — or housing that’s often affordable to households with incomes between 80-120% the area median income.
The median monthly income for Grand in 2018 was $5,872, and ROSH considers housing attainable when it falls within 30% of the median income range, meaning rent could be up to $2,114 per month.
For Reeder, the company chose to build the development based on its location and economic activity. Reeder pointed to the lack of employee housing for Granby Ranch operations specifically, as the majority of the development serves short-term rentals and second homes.
“The Dairy Apartments development was intended to fill a void in the long-term rental market that has unsuccessfully been addressed in Granby since the development of Granby Ranch,” Reeder said.
While the housing is not restricted to Granby Ranch employees, Reeder said it addresses demand in and around Granby Ranch. He also pointed out high construction costs in the mountains drive up expenses with labor and material at a premium.
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