Fireside Creek development plans to bring 40 affordable units to Winter Park
What: Fireside Creek development
Where: Kings Crossing Road and Wolf Park Lane
Why: The project aims to add 40 new affordable or workforce housing units.
More info: http://www.wpgov.com/DocumentCenter/View/1264/Fireside-Creek-RFP?bidId=22
Winter Park is hoping to add around 40 new units to its attainable workforce housing roster through the development of the Fireside Creek project.
Fireside Creek, located on Kings Crossing Road next to the Silverado II Condominiums, is planned to be a mixed development of apartments, condominiums and townhomes restricted to workforce and low-income residents.
“In general, we think the best use for that location is (…) some sort of multi-family development,” said John Crone, housing manager for Winter Park.
Ideally, the units will also provide a mix of bedroom types that add up to over 100 new bedrooms. This would help make a dent in the town’s waitlist for affordable housing, which currently has over 200 people on it.
Last month, the town put a call out to developers to submit project proposals, which are due May 6. Crone said most of the details of the project will be finalized when the town decides which proposal to move forward with.
He estimated that the town would break ground on the project next year.
“It would be tough for someone to get in the ground this year, but they can get all the planning done and be ready to dive right into it next year,” Crone said.
While the 1.9 acres that Fireside Creek will be developed on, is not deed-restricted for workforce housing, the town purchased the lots with affordable housing in mind. Currently, Crone said they are looking into a few options as far as workforce or income restrictions go.
“We’d like to see kind of a mix,” he said. “Everything will be workforce limited at some level or another and, depending on the funding, some of it might be income-restricted.”
The town would like the development to include at least some units that target low-income families or individuals, specifically those with income levels of 60 to 120 percent of the area median income. Grand County’s area median income is $75,900, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Crone explained that providing income-restricted housing would allow the town to apply for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, an indirect federal subsidy that finances low-income housing.
“It helps to maintain affordability for a period of time for those tenants,” he said. “And with the opportunity to get LIHTC funds, with the target we’re shooting for here, hopefully (the town) won’t have to bring any money to the project other than what we’ve already invested.”
Overall, the goal of the project is to continue to add to and diversify the available workforce housing in Winter Park.
“It absolutely meets the target that we’re aiming for, which is to bring those people who work in the town into the town and let them grow with the community,” Crone said.
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Summit County and local towns are considering an emergency declaration to help address the local affordable housing shortage and emphasize the increasingly dire circumstances of the issue to state and federal partners.