North Valley Affordable Housing: Buy it or Rent it?

Over the past three years, 4 affordable ownership housing units have been built or planned for every 1 rental affordable rental unit, according to the Gunnison Valley Housing Authority’s 2019 Housing Plan. 

Compounding this oversupply of affordable ownership units problem is the fact that many households in need of affordable housing have trouble qualifying for a home loan. “The Town staff was disappointed with the turnout for the lottery given the extensive community dialogue on the need for local’s affordable housing,” Crested Butte Community Development Director Michael Yerman wrote to the Town Council on June 3rd. Indeed, of the 24 applicants for the 15 Paradise Park units, only two-thirds were deemed well positioned to purchase a home according to a Housing Authority review, causing Yerman to conclude that there may not be enough qualified applicants to sell out all 15 units in Phase 1.

The Town of Crested Butte’s 2018 Housing survey shows that for those who don’t already own a home, the majority of households earning less than 120% AMI (Area Median Income) are not yet in a position to purchase housing, when asked if they meet requirements:

Many struggle with a down payment. Almost two-thirds of households under 120% AMI, and over half of households at 120% AMI and above, have $15,000 or less for a down payment.

If we look at all of these factors together, only 17 percent of those who do not already own a home are likely to be able to buy. These are the households who claim to be very knowledgeable about mortgage requirements and meet the requirements and have at least $10,000 for a down payment.

Of the 15 units available in the recent Paradise Park Phase 1 Block 76 Lottery, only six were for applicants in the less than 120% AMI category. Moreover, none of the for-sale projects are able to meet any of the <80% AMI need.






Yerman report: page 174:

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