With the average Golden home price closing in on $800,000 after increasing nearly 23.9% over the past year according to Zillow, Golden’s housing affordability crisis is showing no signs of slowing. …
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With the average Golden home price closing in on $800,000 after increasing nearly 23.9% over the past year according to Zillow, Golden’s housing affordability crisis is showing no signs of slowing.
Now, a group of citizens are working to form a 501c3 they hope will take a bite out of that growing problem by building 100 units of affordable housing for people that work in the city over the next five years.
On Aug. 16, two of the leaders of that group, which is calling itself the Golden Home Fund, met with Golden’s Downtown Development Authority to discuss the group’s plan for how it could partner with the city to begin building those housing units.
They also discussed a specific piece of property that the city recently purchased because it is adjacent to property the city is eying for redevelopment through the project termed Heart of Golden. They say they could build around eight housing units on that property.
Preston Evans, one of the Golden residents leading the group, said the group’s pitch to the city is this: The home fund would pay for housing and then look to the city to provide land to build it on. That housing would be priced at what is considered to be fair market rent for people making 70-80% of American Median Income. That would see the units priced at around $200-$250,000.
“Workers within Golden would be able to come in and apply and be able to buy a house or condo and start to build net worth instead of getting onto the rental ladder and being pushed into further and further locations and having to commute into work,” Evans said.
Evans said the Golden Home Fund is currently exploring approaches that would involve use “higher-end modular housing units” that would be constructed in a factory and assembled on-site. Another goal would be for the units to be “zero energy,” which means the building produces enough affordable energy to meet its own energy requirements.
“The goal is to make it as affordable but as nice as possible,” said Golden Home Fund leader Don Cameron.
During the discussion, members of the DDA brought up many desires and concerns for the project, including the need to ensure that the units go to people who work in Golden and prevent the owner from turning around and renting them at a profit.
“I agree with everything you said but there’s got to be a mechanism where that plays out,” said DDA member Dean Valdez. “Because to me you’ve got to make sure you accomplish what the community objectives are for this.”
Another topic of discussion was the degree to which owners of the properties would be restricted in who they could sell them to - and for how much - to ensure the properties continue to be workforce housing.
Evans said one option would likely be for the city to continue to own the land the units are built on but lease it to the property owners, who would agree to sell the home for a price that would be determined by a formula to someone that is eligible for workforce housing.
The Golden Home Fund will make a similar presentation to the city council later this year.
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