Housing Authority to seek stimulus funds for foreclosed Grand Lake condos | SkyHiNews.com

Housing Authority to seek stimulus funds for foreclosed Grand Lake condos

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

The Grand County Housing Authority is about to angle for $1 million in stimulus funds to offset foreclosed properties in Grand County.

With the Town of Grand Lake’s interest in turning five foreclosed condominiums into attainable housing units, the Housing Authority plans to apply for $1 million on behalf of the town.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is making available $1.93 billion in Stimulus to assist in the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes, according to Grand County Housing Authority Director Jim Sheehan.

Grand View Villas condominiums in foreclosure have been on the town’s radar ever since lender New Frontier Bank of Greeley was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on April 10.

Sheehan told Grand Lake trustees on Monday that East Grand County fits the bill necessary to receive federal dollars.

In order to be eligible for stimulus money, an area must have a foreclosure/vacancy rate “Needs Score” of 18 or higher in a point-ranking system ranging from 1 to 20.

Eastern Grand County scored a 19 for the amount of homeowners with high-leverage loans at 90 to 100 percent, Sheehan said. “HUD considers that potential for foreclosures,” he said.

West Grand rated much lower on HUD’s census tract with a score of 7.

The Grand County Housing Authority plans to apply for the stimulus funds with Grand Lake’s blessing through Colorado’s main applicant, the Colorado Division of Housing.

Sheehan explained that the program would require no matching grant from the Town of Grand Lake.

If the Housing Authority were successful and Grand Lake was able to buy up five units with Reinvestment Act dollars, then resell them as deed-restricted properties to qualifying homeowners below 120 percent of area median income, Grand Lake would be the agent to help stabilize the neighborhood, Sheehan said.

Grand Lake officials asked Sheehan if the town were to end up with money left over after selling all units for less than a collective total of $1 million, would the town be allowed to keep that money to set up more affordable housing in the Grand Lake area?

Federal agencies are not requiring returns of leftover funds, Sheehan responded. Rather than those potential dollars getting funneled to other areas of Grand County, “I think it should stay in the area, in Grand Lake,” the Housing director said.

To that, town officials responded that an official agreement should be drafted between the county and the town, outlining Grand Lake’s prerogative to keep leftover dollars to pump them back into the town’s attainable housing program.

But whether the Housing Authority has a good chance of getting the $1 million in stimulus at all remains dicey.

Sheehan told town trustees that in Colorado alone, local governments and nonprofits are expected to apply for $100 million of the $1.93 billion available nationwide.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

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