Fraser gets grant for affordable housing
Fraser’s new workforce housing project received a $3 million boost since the town became the first municipality to be awarded a grant from Colorado’s Operation Turn Key program in February.
The grant covers 80% of the purchase of 11.3 acres in the downtown Fraser area — or just over $3 million — with the town matching $760,000. Fraser approved a $3.85 million offer on the property in January, contingent on the grant. The closing date for the purchase is May 20.
Fraser’s grant application described a minimum of 105 units on the property.
Assistant Town Manager Michael Brack said on Wednesday, March 2, that the town doesn’t have concrete plans for the space yet, but is hoping to build a mix of unit types in the 60-140% Area Median Income range.
“This is all preliminary, but … 105 is a good number to start with, though it could be more or it could be a little less,” Brack said. “We’re targeting between 60-80% AMI for the rentals and we hope to have some home ownership opportunities there too, which would be between 80-140% AMI.”
A requirement of receiving the grant is that the town must begin construction within 36 months of receiving the money. Brack said the town is starting the process of collecting resident feedback on what the project should look like, similar to the process Granby is going through for its US Highway 40 workforce housing project.
“It’s really about finding out what the community needs,” he said. “I think it will be a mix between what the community is looking for and what we can produce, staying within those income brackets.”
Once the town has local input, Brack said they would look for a developer to solidify construction plans and begin building.
On top of rent and deed restricted units, Town Manager Ed Cannon said the town wants to build a community, so there are considerations of amenities like public open space and the potential for commercial construction.
“We want to provide a variety of housing and we also are trying to maximize the space,” Cannon said. “What we do know is this (purchase) gives us a great opportunity to meet the housing needs, not just here in Fraser but for people who live in Grand County.”
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