Fraser housing complex Fox Run finds help to remediate mold
Grand County, Colorado
The Fox Run housing complex in Fraser is bouncing back from a mold problem that caused several tenants to move out last year.
“It was a severe issue for us, no question about it,” said Jim Sheehan, director of the Grand County Housing Authority, a partner in the project. Twenty-four apartments sat empty through summer and fall due to the mold problem. Another three tenants moved to unaffected units.
In order to pay for mold clean-up ” with an estimate for nine units that came in at $262,000 ” the Fox Run board of directors made a bold decision not to pay the project’s debt service to the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority for five months, risking defaulting on the project. In doing so, attention was given to a total of 13 units with funds provided by the Grand County Housing Authority and Fox Run, according to a memo to the Town of Fraser outlining the mold issue.
The project was 100 percent leased prior to the discovery of mold in late March of 2008, the memo states, and had a vacancy rate of less than 2 percent for 2007.
The Housing Authority contributed $43,000 to Fox Run to help with remediation and future prevention of mold. The Authority leveraged funds as an incentive for other Fox Run funding partners to step up to the table, Sheehan said.
The bait eventually worked. In November the Colorado Division of Housing and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority contributed $64,000 each to help pay for mold clean-up and to help make Fox Run’s debt service payments current. Another $50,000 was obtained from the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation, an acting Fox Run general partner, and $4,500 was provided through the Grand Foundation.
With this total of $225,500 in aid, Fox Run enlisted Rocky Mountain Remediation Services of Centennial to clean up remaining apartments and thoroughly remove mold, Sheehan said. A drainage system and sump pumps in crawl spaces to prevent future causes of mold were installed. By spring, “there will also be drainage work outside to keep water away from the buildings,” Sheehan said.
As of now, “all the apartments are mold-free,” he said.
Fox Run now faces the challenge of filling 21 empty units that have been available for rent since Dec. 1 in the 64-unit complex, as well as hiring a new property manager for the project.
The former management company has given its notice, Sheehan said.
The Fox Run board has since been reviewing bids and has authorized negotiations with Allegient Management Services.
Completed in 2002, Fox Run has provided housing to more than 700 members of Fraser Valley’s workforce.
The complex originally was financed with Low Income Housing tax credits, a $582,000 grant from the Colorado Division of Housing, a $3.76 million loan from the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, deferred water taps from the town of Fraser equating to $106,00, and in-kind excavation work on the project’s “difficult” site, provided by Grand County.
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