By Amy Reinholds
Housing Recovery Working Group proposed goals and projects
At the Lyons Community Planning Exchange meeting on Wednesday, February 19, all the recovery working groups presented ideas that have come up in our four weeks of discussion.
The Housing Recovery Working Group is defining project proposals including developing a sustainable housing vision that increases
overall housing stock with no net loss of open space, and providing an array of housing opportunities such as new housing, rebuilding existing housing stock, adding Accessory Dwelling Units, and helping residents cut through red tape to move back to town. Other ideas for projects include developing strategies to identify, protect, and acquire land for building replacement and/or new affordable housing, including: all types of housing (single family/multifamily, seniors, townhouses/detached, for sale/for rent) that are at affordable levels for those displaced owners and renters. This includes various forms of land ownership and housing types, such as manufactured/mobile homes and micro housing, and incentives for private developers. Other project proposals include identifying a location in town for a temporary RV park for people who are repairing/rebuilding their homes, and how to best integrate energy efficiency and renewable energy into the available housing stock for creating greater community resiliency from future disasters and disruptions of our energy supply.
If you missed the Planning Exchange meeting, see http://www.lyonsrecovery.com/219-planning-exchange-materials.html.
The Housing Recovery Working Group’s last planning meeting is this Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Outlaw Saloon dining room from 7-9 p.m. Anyone who is interested in the goals and projects for housing recovery should join us.
Housing Needs Assessment Released
The Town of Lyons Housing Needs Assessment was released at the Community Planning Exchange meeting. The assessment was funded and coordinated by the Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA), which hired a consultant in January to run the survey and compile the results. The assessment found that 145 households are still displaced, and 115 want to return. About 68% of still-displaced households earn less than 60% of the area median income (AMI) for Boulder County, or below $46,140 for a 2-person household. A 2-person household would need to earn about $125,000 per year, or about 160% of the AMI to afford the average market priced home for sale in Lyons ($513,470 as of January).
Before the flood, about 26% of Lyons households were paying more than 30% of their income for housing costs (both renters and owners), which is considered housing-cost-burdened. After the flood, that percentage has increased to 36% of Lyons households. You can view the full report here.
Immediate housing needs
The needs assessment shows that many Lyons residents are now housing cost-burdened after the flood, especially still-displaced residents. For people paying high monthly housing costs (either rent or mortgage) after the flood, there are funds in addition to FEMA money previously received. This relief provides cost-burdened Lyons residents an option to avoid spending savings that might be used for future down payments and to avoid falling into debt because of the flood.
This counseling and housing assistance is for both renters and owners, and anyone with housing cost burden, not just those facing foreclosures. There will be a financial counselor representative at the March 8 Housing Recovery public meeting to give information and schedule future appointments.
Upcoming March 8 public meeting to review proposed parcels
The Lyons Board of Trustees has asked the Housing Recovery Task Force (HRTF) to identify and evaluate parcels of land in Lyons and in the Lyons Planning Area that could be options for replacement housing after the flood. The Board of Trustees will then decide how to proceed with grant applications for housing funding.
A special public meeting on Saturday, March 8, will show the parcels of land that the HRTF has identified as possible options for housing development. The meeting will give the public a chance to interact and ask questions before the information goes to the Lyons Board of Trustees for a decision. The meeting will also show examples of types of housing that could be part of the future developments after funding is secured.
The time and location will be finalized next week and announced on www.lyonsrecovery.com and in this HRTF column.